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Post Office warns of VAT scam

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The postal service said it did not require customers to make any bank deposits before parcels were released

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The South African Post Office (Sapo) yesterday warned the public to be aware of a parcel delivery scam designed to defraud customers.

“Members of the public receive SMS messages informing them that a parcel could not be delivered because VAT needs to be paid on the parcel. A link on the SMS leads them to a web page where they are requested to deposit money into a bank account,” Sapo said in a statement.

The postal service said it did not require customers to make any bank deposits before parcels were released.

If VAT or any other fees were payable on a parcel, it was paid at the time of delivery or collection, and the customer would receive a valid receipt.

“Where the post office has the cellphone number of the recipient, the customer will receive an SMS requesting him or her to collect the parcel at a branch. The SMS will not request that funds be deposited into an account.

“Members of the public that have information regarding this scam are requested to call the police or the post office’s crime buster hotline on 0800 020 070,” said the organisation.