The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) is advising members of the public to be wary of fake Facebook and WhatsApp requests demanding them to pay ‘customs clearance fees’ before their goods are released to them.
Information gathered by FRCS revealed that a number of Fijians have been tricked through fake Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger requests advising them that the goods they have imported were being held by ‘Customs’ and that they need to pay ‘customs clearance fees’ into numerous local bank accounts that are being provided by the scammers through social media.
This money is then withdrawn from bank accounts by swindlers and remitted through post office to their partners.
The total cash involved in all transaction to date is FJ$ 31,620. FRCS Acting Chief Executive Officer Ms Fane W. Vave clarified that payment for customs clearance are only done at Customs counters and through FRCS bank account. “We will never ask people through Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger to make payments.
If people receive such requests, they can always call our Hotline number 1326 or email us on email@example.com for verification,” Ms Vave said.
“Members of the public and social media users need to be vigilant as they can be victims to this type of scams. It is important for people to be aware of the scams happening.” Ms Vave advised victims of this scam to report the matter to relevant authorities