Some Internet crooks based in Zambia and Madrid, Spain are using the name and photos of former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa to swindle people on Facebook.
The unknown individuals have created a FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/maureen.levymwanawasa which they are using to target individuals especially Zambians living in other countries.
The Watchdog has received numerous concerns regarding the scam but the latest complaint from Laston Nyirenda has explained how the scam works.
Nyirenda wrote to the Watchdog that ‘I wish to bring to the attention of The Watchdog an issue going around on Facebook regarding someone who opened an account in the name of Maureen Levy Mwanawasa.
‘ I am friends with the said person and they started sending me messages purporting to be Mrs Mwanawasa and started asking me to lend them $2000 and send it to the person named Florence Lucky who they said is based in Madrid, Spain and want me to send the money using western union. They even provided me a Zambian phone number I can call stating that it is for the former first lady if I want to confirm and when I called the number, the person who answered is based in Kitwe and it is not even Mrs Mwanawasa.
The guys sound to have created a fake account in Mrs Mwanawasa’s name and asking for money from people based abroad like us to give them money’
Nyirenda explained that he got alarmed when person purporting to be Maureen Mwanawasa started asking for such huge amounts of money from a person they haven’t even met.
Below is the Face Book conversation between Nyirenda and ‘Maureen Mwanawasa’ between 7 and 10 January, 2012:
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: hi
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: cool to hear from u
Laston Nyirenda:I am honored to hear from you
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: good
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: Compliments of the season
Laston Nyirenda: Compliments of the season to you as well. So what are you doing lately, you ve been so quiet
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: My dear, i have to be quite and watch you know Am doing great and you?
Laston Nyirenda: I know they say sometimes it is better just to be silent. I am doing good but always busy
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: really. what are you up to over there
Laston Nyirenda: I am an IT personnel and always busy
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: 0kay great do you write software like Java?
and stay blessed i have to attend to some domestic matters here
Laston Nyirenda: Yes we write software’s and goodnight too thanks Its been an honor just to chat with a person of your Standard thanks
On January 8
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: how are you today
Laston Nyirenda: I am doing very well thanks. I was so tired and just woke up at 12pm because I was in a different city and its quite a drive and only arrived home at 4am and how are you
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa how are you today
Laston Nyirenda: I am doing well thanks
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: okay great
Laston Nyirenda: and how are you doing?
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: Mr Nyirenda
Laston NyirendaHi how are you?
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: i was thinking you should call me, i don’t know if you can help someone on my behalf. she is in Spain ,Europe
Laston Nyirenda: Ok that will be fine what’s your number
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: I am very busy today. call me tomorrow 0978803765
Laston Nyirenda: Ok
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: please lets talk about this sister of ours now. she is one of those I and Levy adopted since she was born.
Laston Nyirenda: Ok I will call you
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: And since she is brilliant enough , we send her to Spain to study. what i need from you is to help her with fund. All you need to do for me is to give me about 2 months from today. You see i carrying too many people along that is why i am asking for this help from you
Laston Nyirenda: Will see what we can do
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: please do it on my behalf and give me at least two months to remit any amount you may have helped her with
Laston Nyirenda: Ok that will work
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: Thank you very much. please ensure to call me tomorrow
Laston Nyirenda: Ok I will
Maureen Levy Mwanawasa: Have a nice day and remain blessed
Laston Nyirenda: Thanks
|Below is the letter purportedly written by Maurren Mwanawasa to Laston Nyirenda:
Thank you my brother. Use the details below to send it to her and please give me the details for me to forward it to her. I am very glad for your understanding because this is the beginning of the year and we all have responsibilities . I will remit it to you in 2 months time because UNICEF will pay me by then. The school authority has warned me that she will not be allowed to take her final exams if she fails to pay up her bills. Many thanks
Amount …Two thousand dollars only
Western Union Money Transfer.
Note… i will welcome any amount you can help us with but if you can afford to help us , please do. Similarly ,Kindly use western union Money transfer for her to easily collect it at any nearby shop…
With great regards
Mrs Mwanawasa Maureen
Editor’s note: Though we write this as a scam, we do not know for sure if it is a scam or whether Maureen Mwanawasa is involved as we failed to get in touch with her.