Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Consumer Alert: Romance scams



19th May 2015
Consumer Alert: Romance scams

Following our recent Consumer Alert regarding recruitment scams we would like to warn the public about the rise in “romance scams” that are affecting the women of Botswana.

These scams involve an approach from a man on Facebook who claims to be based in Europe or the USA or sometimes claims to be a soldier serving in the US forces in the Middle East. Over several weeks he will befriend the woman, finally offering her romance, perhaps even the prospect of marriage.

All of these “relationships” then involve the man sending the woman a package that he claims contains valuable items such as jewelry, iPads, laptops and money. Someone claiming to be a customs agent, police officer or representative of a courier company then contacts the woman saying that the package has been detained and that it will only be released if the woman pays a fee.

In reality there is no package and no boyfriend. This is a scam. All the scammers want is the “fee” they claim is needed to release the package. In the last few months we have heard from several women in Botswana who have fallen for these scams and who have lost large sums of money as a result. However these women lose more than just money, they lose the affection and love they felt towards their fake boyfriend.

Consumer Watchdog urges anybody who is befriended by a stranger on Facebook to be skeptical and never to pay anyone for a package sent by such a person. If consumers are in any doubt they should contact Consumer Watchdog for free advice. We can be reached by phone on 3904582, by email at or by joining our Facebook group, Consumer Watchdog Botswana.

Richard Harriman


Consumer Watchdog is a consumer support, advocacy and education service that offers advice to anyone in Botswana on their rights and how to resolve problems.

Everything Consumer Watchdog does for the consumers of Botswana is free and always will be.

Consumers can contact us by phone on 3904582, by email to or by joining our Facebook group, Consumer Watchdog Botswana.

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