Home » Judicial » Fake Dstv Agent On the Prowl

The love for cheap alternatives saw a Harare man who does not want to be identified losing $20 at the beginning January just when he needed every cent that he could lay his hands on.

He had seen an aert on one of the many market places pages on Facebook.

“You know about the January disease. I was wondering how I would juggle the fees and everything else until the end of the month. So imagine my joy when I saw a cheaper alternative to Multichoice Zimbabwe on the net. This guy was offering the Compact bouquet at $20 and I jumped at the offer.”

He had just been netted by a con artist prowling on Facebook who has recently been using the name Mike Katsande and the mobile number 0778069846.

His Ecocash number 0775808475 was registered in the name of Katsande Katsande. Both numbers appeared to be permanently blocked to incoming calls.

“He said he was in Gweru and promised to connect me within 10 minutes and I quickly sent him the money. I only realised I had been duped three hours later when he would not respond to my messages.”

He was never to get any joy and later had to find the cash to do the right thing and go through Multichoice Zimbabwe as usual for service.

Having been blocked on several sites on Facebook and realising that one transaction had been deliberately made to trace him, the con artist has apparently stopped using the above mobile numbers.

He might already have acquired a new persona and new contact details. He seems to be in possession of fail proof methods to beat the Potraz and Econet registration laws: He has previously operated as Myama Kudakwashe.

He also fleeced a number of people as Takunda Katsande on mobile number 0771889570 and as Dwayne Katsande on mobile number 0777240893.

These are obviously false names although the constant reappearance of the Katsande name may be a clue to his real identity.

What is noticeable is that he uses only one mobile platform gly hinting at possible criminal links with an Ecocash agency who processes the false identity registrations.

Questions sent by this reporter to Econet Spokesperson Rangarirai Mberi seeking clarification on whether it would be possible to trace the agencies through which the con artist has made withdrawals of the money have gone unacknowledged by the time of going to print although a social media icon indicated that the query had been delivered.

Most of the victims said they had not bothered to make police reports as they did not want to appear foolish in public or had given him insignificant amounts.

One fellow said the con artist is on the police wanted list for fraud, an assertion we could not verify.

What is making it so easy for the con artist and others like him to take in people is that there are DStv subscribers in Zimbabwe with South African Accounts who enjoy much cheaper rates and extras like the SABC channels which are blocked on the Zimbabwean bouquets.

But Multichoice Zimbabwe says by circumventing the proper channels, people are stealing from the Government rather than the service provider.

Says Liz Dziva Multichoice Zimbabwe spokesperson:

“MultiChoice Zimbabwe would like to warn against any service which offers channels not authorised for viewing in Zimbabwe as this would constitute an infringement of International copyright laws and conventions to which Zimbabwe is a signatory, additionally this would constitute an illegal action.

MultiChoice has invested in establishing offices in each country specifically to provide services to subscribers, by subscribing in another country, it will reduce the taxes and duties paid in your country.”

A trawl through his usual hunting grounds on Facebook which are the marketing pages does not seem to show a new shark offering the same service over the past few days although there are always some highly suspicious characters. And his absence does not mean that this same Facebook scammer will not return with a new trick.

Do not carry out any electronic cash transfers until you have seen the product that you are paying for.

Source : The Herald