Beware of phone fraudsters

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Posted  Tuesday, December 24  2013 at  02:00

I received a phone call and the caller informed me that he was calling from Airtel Uganda and that I was a winner of Shs5 million plus a Toyota Harrier. He told me that there were only 100 such winners; and that I should count myself lucky.

The caller did not identify himself but insisted he was an official from Airtel. He told me that I needed to buy airtime worth Shs2, 000 a note book and a pen. Incidentally, I had an airtime card of Shs2,000 which I decided to ‘sacrifice’. After a few minutes, I told the caller that I had got the airtime and that I had obtained the book and pen and was ready to write. He then told me to scratch the card and read the access number to him.

After I had read the access number, he asked me to record the following words: “Warid Uganda Airtel too good”. Next, he told me to write the name of the promotions manager. I was instructed to write the words: “lucky winner” followed by my name, age and place of residence which I did on my piece of paper. He then announced that I was a lucky winner of five gifts: free calls across all networks, a fridge; five T-Shirts; five Caps; Shs5 million for development; and a brand new Toyota Harrier.

After writing down the gifts, the caller asked me to write down a name of a URA official who would help me with the registration of the Toyota Harrier. He told me that while Airtel would cover all the costs associated with the new car, I had to part with Shs760,000 as my contribution to the registration processes.

He informed me that I had up to 30 minutes to decide if I would pay the money or “the company” would give the gifts to another person. It was at this time that I decided to call Airtel customer service as I waited for “my friend” to call back. A few minutes later, he called to find out if I would pay.

Instead of responding to his question, I read out the number 0752 600 222 to him and informed him that this is the only official number that Airtel uses to call winners and that there is no other number. He abused me before he hang up! I would like to request Airtel to ensure that its subscribers memorise the official number that is used to call winners.

Joseph KB Matovu,