Ethiopia arrests seven foreigners for facebook scam


Ethiopian Federal Police Commission Crime Investigation Bureau arrested seven foreigners who cheated over 2.5 million birr from Ethiopians using facebook.

The foreigners, whose tourist visa has expired have been engaged in friending Ethiopians on facebook and taking money. The foreigners cheated many Ethiopians claiming that they need processing fees for the gifts they brought for the Ethiopians, which is held at the Ethiopian Airlines in Addis Ababa.

Most of the Ethiopians cheated on facebook by the foreigners are woman, according to the Commission, which stated that the foreigners also collaborated with Ethiopians to cheat the women. Deputy Commissioner at the Bureau Berhanu Abebe told the state broadcaster ETV that the criminals network include individuals who live in Europe, their partners from different African countries who come to Ethiopia with tourist visa and Ethiopians.

After coming to Ethiopia the African tourists collaborate with criminals in Ethiopia who can identify Ethiopians from whom they can cheat good amount of money. The criminals in Europe first make facebook friend with an Ethiopian who will be cheated. They the European criminal tells that person that he/she is going to surprise his new facebook friend from Ethiopia with a gift.

Then an African partner of the European criminal, who already arrived Addis Ababa, will tell the Ethiopian criminal to make a call to person to be cheated claiming that she is calling from Ethiopian Airlines to inform the victim that she/he has received gift. Then the caller tells the victim to pay processing fee so that an Ethiopian Airlines staff will drop the gift where the person to whom the gift is sent.

He indicated that his Bureau is now investigating the seven foreigners arrested for engaging in similar crimes. The deputy Commissioner also advised the immigration agency of Ethiopia to follow on the status of foreigners coming with tourist visa to make sure that they don’t over stay and engage in such crimes.