No shortcuts to wealth

IT is sad and shocking that some individuals have taken advantage of youth’s desperation to make money by swindling them.

For a long time financial scams have been perpetrated via email and Facebook platforms.

Incidences of cybercrime such as fraud, intellectual property theft, identity theft, and cyberbullying have been on the rise.

Recently than 5, 000 people, mostly students from various learning institutions across the country, have been swindled of K2.5 million by the Sub Sahara Africa Farmers Organisation.

Mr Francis Lungu, one of the victims said the “bogus” farmer organisation, which is purported to be affiliated to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, emerged on the scene in 2020.

He said the organisation lured unsuspecting students interested in farming activities into making varying investment contributions which would over time accrue interest.

Mr. Lungu, a Zambian student studying in Morocco, revealed that the organisation has gone away with individual investments in the range of K550 to K731.

He said some of his colleagues reported the matter to the Zambia Police in Lusaka last year when it became clear that it was a scam.

He has, however complained of the slow pace by the police to bring the matter to a conclusive end.

Mr. Lungu has since appealed to the government to intervene and help the students who are merely trying to make ends meet to recover their stolen money.

He has also urged the government to come up with stiffer punishment for scammers to curb the emerging problem.

And Zambia Police Service Public Relations Officer Esther Katongo, has revealed that police are actively pursuing the matter.

Ms. Katongo said the police are almost concluding the investigations and will hand over the case to court once concluded.

She explained that investigations have taken long because the case has a lot of complainants and officers had to record statements from each one of them.

It was reported that efforts to get a comment from Sub Sahara Africa Farmers Organisation Chief Executive Officer Cedric Munyaradzi Muronda, proved futile as his mobile phone was not reachable.

In April 2021, the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act came into force. The Act is expected to combat cybercrime, coordinate cyber security matters, develop relevant skills and help promote the responsible use of social media platforms.

The fact that the internet for a long time has been abused should not mean that there can be no retribution for victims of fraud.

While it is important for people to use caution and common sense when dealing with finances, the expectation is that the long arm of the will catch up with the criminals.



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