FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18th June 2018
Consumer Alert: Government and parastatal tender scams
These invitations appear to be official documents and suggest that the victim’s company has been directly appointed to supply specialist goods to the inviting entity. They encourage the victims to contact a specific supplier, usually in South Africa, who they imply is the only supplier they are prepared to accept.
Once the victims contact this supplier, which is actually a fake company, they demand a deposit before the fictitious goods can be shipped.
We have heard recently from several companies who have asked us to investigate the legitimacy of the invitations they received and of the suppliers. In most cases we have been able to prevent any money being lost but we have also heard from victims who have already transferred the fake deposits. In one case the victim transferred over P200,000 to the scammers.
Even though there were clues in the invitation documents suggesting that they were false, they are nevertheless convincing enough to have already fooled a number of victims. The fake suppliers have even taken the time to create web sites to help them appear legitimate.
We urge companies to be vigilant and always to contact purchasing authorities in the Public Service and parastatals to confirm the legitimacy of any invitation to supply goods they receive before they pay any deposits. They can also contact Consumer Watchdog for free advice. We can be reached by phone on 3904582, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Facebook group, Consumer Watchdog Botswana.