THE CYBER Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has indicated that some criminals have resorted to the display of phony products for sale on social media and exacting huge amounts of money from their unsuspecting victims.
Director of the Cyber Crime Unit, ACP Dr Gustav Herbert Yankson, who disclosed this to DAILY GUIDE, said some unscrupulous persons had cloned websites of some big companies operating in Ghana and use such sites to defraud their victims.
He said some of the criminals also used Facebook and other social media handles to advertise certain products by which they swindle their victims.
Dr Yankson said his unit had been receiving reports from victims who had been defrauded through social media on daily bases.
He said three persons who were defrauded by such persons using clone websites lost GH¢18,000 in the process.
He revealed that the three victims said they ordered some mattresses on the said website, made payments on mobile money but never received the items.
“The victims said after waiting for several days without receiving the goods, they visited the company only to discover that they had been scammed.”
Dr Yankson said police investigations had revealed that the items displayed on the said websites were very cheap as compared to the factory price.
“These said websites have on display only mobile numbers for victims interested in ordering for items to contact them and since most persons now do purchases online due to the coronavirus outbreak, they end up being defrauded.”
He said the telecom companies had been contacted and they were assisting the police to trace and arrest suspects involved.
He urged persons who bought online to research and investigate further before parting monies to such persons.
“The genuine companies will deliver the items before collecting the money in person, so individuals must resort to that option than paying for something that has not been delivered,” he advised.
He assured victims involved that the police were seriously investigating such cases and would soon arrest persons involved.
By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey