Orange Botswana, the country’s second biggest wireless carrier, has warned its clients and the public of a scam that involves fraudsters using the popular orange money service to trick people.
Of recent, there has been spates of reports and complaints from customers who shared how they were tricked by the scammers. The fraud works like this: the scammer will call an Orange subscriber and pretend they are calling from the mobile network operator, and that the customer has won some money to be deposited in Orange Money, and the value is usually P4,000.
But there is a catch. Since the maximum you can hold in the Orange money account is P4,000, the fraudsters will then suggest to the victim that they empty their account to the one suggested by the criminals, of which then the promised P4,000 is deposited to the customer’s account. Some Orange customers have fallen victim to this, clearing their accounts in the hopes of a bigger gain of P4,000.
“We are aware of the scam, mostly through social media posts and some direct complaints. We have reported the matter to Botswana Police and investigations are ongoing,” Lepata Mafa, the legal and corporate affairs director at Orange, said in an emailed response.
Mafa revealed that the carrier has commenced a customer protection campaign on social media and through texts sent to customers, warning them of the scam.
“Beware of scammers claiming to be calling from Orange regarding a P4,000 Orange Money competition that you have won! Call 123 to verify any ongoing competitions,” read one of the SMS sent to Orange subscribers.
According to Mafa, Orange could not accurately verify how many of the customers have fallen victim to the tricksters because the victims tend not to report to the company, choosing to post on social media warning others.
“In addition to what has already been posted on our Facebook page and sent through SMS, our customers should be aware that if they were to win in any of our competitions, we would never credit their money before they physically come to our offices or shops to sign a consent form. Customers should call our call centre (123) to confirm if indeed they have won. They can also call 123 to seek clarity regarding Orange Botswana competitions,” Mafa said.
Orange has the largest share of mobile money services through Orange Money, which commands about 65 percent of the market share, a decrease from 2018’s 72 percent share. Orange has managed to maintain its lead thanks to technology support from its parent company and the available through various merchants across the country, and they have collaborated with global payments giant Visa, allowing Orange money users to withdraw cash from ATMs. The mobile service provider has also partnered with Standard Chartered bank and Barclays Bank Botswana.