The Competition and Fair Trading Commission has received information that some unknown individuals are swindling consumers through lottery scams or bogus lottery schemes.
According to the information, the scammers were sending SMS or phone calls to unsuspecting consumers indicating that they have won a prize and that they have to pay money in order for them to claim their prize.
In other instances, the scammers posed as employees from certain companies advising consumers that they have won items such as iron sheets or bicycles which they could claim upon making some payments. The end result is that the alleged winners have been tricked and lost their money through payment for these nonexistent ‘prizes.’
Consumers are therefore advised to be vigilant and report suspected scammers to relevant authorities such as the Malawi Police, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority or the Commission. The general rule is that no person can receive a prize for a competition that they did not enter in the first place.
Further, the Commission wishes to remind the general public that it is an offence, under the Competition and Fair Trading Act and Consumer Protection Act, for any person to engage in any fraudulent practices designed to exploit consumers. Any person found offering gifts or prizes with the intention to defraud consumers will be punished in accordance with the Competition and Fair Trading Act and other relevant laws.
Finally, the Commission wishes to appeal to companies, to alert the general public when their company names are being used in any form of fraudulent scams.
CHARLOTTE WEZI MALONDA