South Africa: Cell phone-scam warning.

De Master Yoda

Cell phone-scam warning.

21/08/2008 09:45 AM - (SA)
Cell phone-scam warning
By Lerato Serero


VANDERBIJLPARK. - If you receive an SMS stating that you have won millions of dollars from a "Shell Mobile Draw", you best beware, because it is a hoax and do not respond.

One such person who received such a message is Paul Mackie from Bophelong. The message says that he won and should reply, either by phoning or sending an e-mail to claim his prize.

"I did not know what to do, so I contacted my son in Pretoria who phoned the number and soon found out that the person on the other line sounded foreign. We suspected there and then that this is a scam," Mackie says.

This journalist has also received the SMS saying that he had won $1.5 million in the 2008 Shell Mobile Draw and that participants were selected randomly from World Wide Mobile Telephone Directories of MTN, GLO, V-Mobile, Vodafone, CelTel and others.

Mo Bawai, Shell Southern Africa's spokesperson, says that this is a scam and that people should not respond to this, as the people who are doing this are only after people's personal information.

"We do not have such a competition and people must not be gullible and respond to these fraudsters," he says.

According to him these fraudsters have three known ways of swindling people: they send a letter or message saying that people have been offered employment and should pay an amount of money into their account, they say that people have won money in exchange they want personal information and they also say people must buy shares in the company and then rob them of their hard earned cash.

The scam is allegedly run from Nigeria under the pretext that it is under Shell Nigeria and all correspondence is done with the company's logo.