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Facebook post of pangolin could be a phishing scam

The photograph of the pangolin that was posted last week in a number of groups. Picture: Facebook

The photograph of the pangolin that was posted last week in a number of groups. Picture: Facebook

Published Mar 16, 2021

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Durban - A professor who works on conserving the pangolin in Africa said the Facebook post of a pangolin, allegedly on sale, in KwaDukuza, north of Durban could be a phishing scam.

​On Friday Manuel Chafera posted on a number of Facebook groups, cheap houses for sale are rently around Durban only, Facebook Market, KwaDukuza Seconds, Kwa-Zulu Natal Ads and Durban & Surrounding Areas Buy Swap & Sell, an image of a pangolin with the date stamp 07-06-2020 on the photograph, with fingertips holding down the tail of the pangolin.

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African Working Pangolin Group chairperson Professor Ray Jansen said he had seen the photograph and it appeared that the photograph was taken in June 2020.

“It’s meaningless because they only survive about two weeks in the trade, so either the animal is dead or they’ve already sold it. It’s probably a phishing scam, so they want the money upfront but they don’t have the animal anymore,” said Jansen.

Those who saw the post and knew about the pangolin being endangered had this to say:

Sihle Active: It is illegal to do trade of these animals you are going straight to jail these are protected species in South Africa SPCA are coming for my brother

Wills Lulangah: This is one step to jail

Ignatius Kitching: Mandy Catterson Wilson can you believe this

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Smanga Ten: Uzoboshwa wena (You’re going to be arrested)

In a Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) portfolio committee briefing on the poaching of South Africa’s biodiversity, DEFF revealed that the illegal trade in pangolin was predominately in live animals. Gauteng was the central point for transactions and there was a limited illegal trade in scales.

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