The South African Post Office has issued a warning about a parcel delivery scam which attempts to defraud customers.
Clients have received emails from fraudsters posing as a Post Office-affiliated service which asks them to send payment in order for their packages to be released.
“Members of the public receive an emailed letter from a company purporting to be affiliated to ‘Speed Messenger Services’ using an adaptation of the Post Office’s Speed Services logo,” the SA Post Office said.
“The letter demands payment for import duty on parcels before the parcels can be delivered.”
The SA Post Office said it does not require customers to make any payment before parcels are released.
“If VAT or any other fees are payable on a parcel, this is paid at a Post Office counter at the time when the parcel is collected,” it said.
The customer will receive a valid receipt for this payment.
This follows a similar scam circulated among Post Office clients in November last year.
This scam attempted to defraud customers via SMS by claiming that they needed to pay VAT on their parcel for it be released.
The SMS scam works as follows:
- The scammers send an SMS informing them their parcel cannot be delivered because VAT needs to be paid on the parcel.
- The SMS contains a link to a web page where they are requested to deposit money into a bank account.
- This bank account belongs to the criminals. This means the victim will lose their money if they make a deposit.
The SA Post Office highlighted that it does not require customers to make any bank deposit before parcels are released.
“Where the Post Office has the cellphone number of the recipient, the customer will receive an SMS requesting him or her to collect the parcel at a specific Post Office branch,” the Post Office said.
“The SMS will not request that funds be deposited into an account.”
The Post Office said that anyone who has information regarding these scams should contact the SA Police, and advised the public to ignore communication of this nature.