Namibia’s largest telecommunications service provider, MTC this week issued a statement warning its clients and all telecommunication users to be on the alert for a scam sent as a phone message, offering the recipient a free lottery ticket with a chance to win US$11 million in prize money.
The scam is a reduplication of a similar well-known email scam but which has not yet surfaced on mobile platforms. In the typical email scam, the recipients are picked at random, usually from mass distribution lists, or from commercially available lists of known email addresses. The mobile version, however, is targetting specific mobile users, enticing them to furnish personal banking details.
Speaking to the Economist, the public relations officer at MTC, Mr Erastus Nekundi elaborated that according to the scam, this promotion is conducted as a token of appreciation to consumers of telecommunications services in Windhoek. The message informs the mobile user, he or she is one of ten lucky subsribers picked by the telecommunications company to stand a chance of winning the enormous amount. Subscribers must answer three questions before receiving their free lottery ticket.
Although MTC’s name is not directly referred to in its full format, as a responsible entity, Nekundi said “we deemed it appropriate and are pro-actively cautioning our esteemed customers that the use of the name “Mobile Telecommunications”, which is similar to our legal and full commercial trading name “Mobile Telecommunications Limited” as abbreviated MTC, could be used to mislead and dupe unsuspecting clients to believe that this is a “MTC” promotion. We hereby wish to alert our customers and bring forth to your attention that MTC is nor promoting or running any promotion of such kind or format.”
The telecommunications provider announced that they distance themselves from the campaign and wish to caution customers to remain vigilant about this type of scams and when in doubt, contact their customer contact center at 081 130 or 081 120 toll free from their handsets to ascertain validity.