The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has expressed deep concern over the increasing incidents of courier fraud, a devious scam that has led to unsuspecting members of the public being swindled by online scammers.
The fraudulent operation works by victims receiving emails, calls, or text messages claiming that a parcel is being held by ZRA due to unpaid taxes. The scammers then request a certain amount of money from the victims to clear the alleged taxes and release the parcel.
However, the situation takes a sinister turn after the money is sent, with a series of prolonged and convoluted stories surfacing, creating a web of deceit that becomes increasingly difficult for victims to untangle.
The Zambia Revenue Authority is cautioning the public to be wary of such online scammers and to refrain from falling victim to their schemes, especially if they have not ordered anything online.
To avoid becoming prey to courier fraud, individuals should ensure that they have actually ordered a parcel from a recognized online trader such as Amazon, Ali Express, or Alibaba. If a gift is being sent through a courier, individuals should have prior verified information about the parcel sent by someone they know residing abroad.
Furthermore, ZRA emphasizes that after making an online purchase, the company from which the purchase was made must consolidate the goods with those of other clients destined for Zambia. The company will then prepare a manifest for all the goods, and customers will be able to track their parcel’s movement from purchase to delivery using a tracking number.
Upon arrival in Zambia, the goods will be received by a licensed contracted agent or courier, who will then contact the recipient with the valuation of applicable taxes. After the payment of taxes, the parcel will be granted a release order, and the agent or courier company will pick up the goods and deliver them to their final owners.
ZRA firmly advises individuals not to send mobile money to random callers claiming to be from the Authority. Taxpayers are encouraged to utilize ZRA’s online platforms for tax payments and to ask for a tax assessment, insisting on paying taxes themselves to prevent any fraud attempts.
The public is also urged to reach out to the ZRA call center in case of any doubts or concerns to verify information about parcels and tax-related matters.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager, Oliver Nzala, emphasized the importance of vigilance and caution to avoid falling victim to online scams. Nzala also urged taxpayers to engage licensed agents and couriers for their trade transactions with ZRA and to remain cautious when dealing with parcels and online transactions.
In conclusion, the Zambia Revenue Authority warns the public against courier fraud and encourages everyone to stay vigilant, follow up on parcels and gifts from reputable sources, and avoid being scammed by fraudulent email claims.