Merchant code holders duped of thousands

By Staff reporter | 26 Mar 2020 at 20:48hrs
Several people and companies with Econet merchant code facilities lost varying amounts of money to two suspected fraudsters.

The Harare Magistrates Courts heard yesterday that the suspects would phone targets purporting to be conducting random checks.

After being told of any challenges they would then request for a one-time password that would have appeared on the victim's mobile phones and their merchant identification number.

 Tranos Taurai Muzanenhamo (21) and Timothy Bvuramiti were arrested on March 3, but the former escaped from police custody and had been on the run until last week.

He appeared in court yesterday on three counts of fraud. During his first arrest, Muzanenhamo was found in possession of 21 fraudulently registered Econet lines.

Muzanenhamo appeared before magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa who remanded him in custody to today for bail application.

Prosecutor Mr Tanaka Mashamba alleged that on February 5, Muzanenhamo contacted Chipo Kunedzimwe using an Africom mobile line and misrepresented that he was calling from Econet Wireless IT department.

The court heard that Kunedzimwe supplied Muzanenhamo the password and merchant identification number and he accessed Kunedzimwe's account and transferred $13 000.

Two days later, Muzanenhamo using the same method contacted Prisca Mashate an accounts clerk at Lyonnaise Investments.

Using the same modus operandi Muzanenhamo accessed Mashati's account and transferred $62 000 to various EcoCash accounts.



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