Govt says SMS fraudsters can be tracked down


The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare says the police can easily track down scammers who use text messages to steal from people.

The ministry said this in a statement on Thursday in which it distanced itself from claims made by the unscrupulous people and fraudsters who send mobile messages to individuals claiming that they have been awarded money under the Mtukula Pakhomo Programme.

In the text messages, the fraudsters ask the unsuspecting people to call them for further details.

Many social media users have reported receiving the text messages and said when they called the sender they were told to send money to a particular mobile number for them to redeem the purported Mtukula Pakhomo transfer.

The ministry which manages the Mtukula Pakhomo programme has urged Malawians to disregard the text messages and report the issue to police.

“The public is also encouraged to report to the police or their service providers when they receive such messages as the fraudsters can easily be tracked as all sim cards in the country are registered,” says the statement signed by Principal Secretary Erica Maganga.

The Ministry has since warned individuals soliciting money and perpetuating such scams that they will face the law.

Mtukula Pakhomo is a programme in which beneficiaries receive monthly payment which they use to buy basic needs.

According to the Ministry of Gender, Mtukula Pakhomo beneficiaries are enrolled into the programme through a rigorous and transparent process conducted at the community level to target beneficiary households.

The beneficiary households are not expected to pay an enrolment fee or any amount for them to access their benefit.