Man loses $320 in Ecocash message fraud


A MAN from Mpopoma suburb in Bulawayo lost 32 chickens worth $320 after he fell for a fake Ecocash message that was delivered to his phone as proof of payment.

On July 20, Mr Tarisai Dube was allegedly approached by three men who told him that they wanted to buy 40 chickens in preparation for a wedding.

He gave them 32 chickens and was shown an ecocash message showing that $320 had been transferred to his account.

The message turned out to be fake leading to the arrest of Nigel Makusha (31). Two of his alleged accomplices are on the run.

After he was duped, Mr Dube later saw the three men in the city centre and two of them sped off in a vehicle leaving Makusha who was arrested.

Makusha pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud before Western Commonage Magistrate Miss Tancy Dube who remanded him in custody to today for sentencing.

Prosecuting, Mr Mufaro Mageza said on July 20, Makusha and his two acquaintances went to Mr Dube’s house.

“The accused person and his friends told the complainant that they wanted chickens for a wedding feast. They then sent him a fake Eco-Cash transfer of $320. The complainant discovered the error when he tried to retrieve the money from his account,” said Mr Mageza.

Makusha said he had no idea that the form of payment used was fraudulent.

“All I knew was that we were supposed to go and get chickens. I didn’t know that my friends had cheated Dube by sending him a fake confirmation message for the transaction,” he said.

In a statement, Mr Dube alleged that the three men told him that the person who was supposed to pay for the chickens was in Harare.

“They made a phone call in my presence. Shortly thereafter, I received a message stating that $320 had been deposited into my account. I didn’t realise that it was a bogus message,” reads the statement.

“I went to Mpopoma shops where they told me the message was fake. I quickly went into town to confirm at Steward bank whether there had not been any mistake but they told me the same thing.