The Herald (Harare)

7 January 2013

Zimbabwe: SA Tricksters Wring Cash From Unsuspecting Zimbabweans

TEN Zimbabweans lost thousands of United States dollars to conmen who are operating in South Africa after luring them into believing that they had won millions of rand. According to police the victims lost amounts ranging between US$1 000 and US$5 000 and they believe that more people could have lost their cash.

Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tadius Chibanda said the victims received text messages on their cellphones from South Africa purporting that they had won either a million or two million rand.

"Some of them would reply to the messages to confirm and were informed about how they should send all their particulars to get the money," he said.

After sending the particulars the victims would then be asked to send money to any bank account in South Africa for their money to be processed.

Insp Chibanda said after sending the money, the victims never received any response from the conmen.

"So far we have received about 10 cases of cyber crime and we urge people not to be lured or duped into paying any money for any competition that they have not entered into," he said.

Cyber crime encompasses any criminal act dealing with computers and networks (called hacking). It also includes traditional crimes conducted through the internet.

For example hate crimes, telemarketing and Internet fraud, identity theft, and credit card account thefts are considered to be cyber crimes when the illegal activities are committed through the use of a computer and the Internet.

Cyber crime covers a broad scope of criminal activity and there are thousands of crimes that are considered cyber crimes.

Recently the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said cyber crime was on the increase as some people were continually losing money to fake deals they made online without verifying whether businesses they would be dealing with were real or not.

According to CID, people who purchase cars online were facing the same problem as many had paid for cars that were never delivered.

Some of the criminals create fake accounts that they take off as soon as they get what they want.

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