Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fraudsters in Nigeria Resort to Phones

Fraudsters are now having a field day duping innocent Nigerians through internet and mobile phones, Daily Trust investigation reveals.

Many Nigerians who spoke to Daily Trust confirmed that they use to receive one or two such mails every month.

Some of the massage they circulate through Short Massage Services (SMS) read: "N1 million has been rewarded to you in the MTN 2009 rewards. Your code is 15rpz. Visit www. mtngameshow.net.ms before 24hr for confirmation, sender MTN NIGERIA".

"Glo with pride! You have won N525,000 of d Glo February promo, ur num. Was among d 40 lucky winners and ur tic. G2 pls call cash office 4 claims on 08053513287, sender 08054559796"

Daily Trust gathered that all what the fraudster are asking is ATM details such as PIN and Number.

Speaking to one of the fraudster on phone, our reporter was asked to send his ATM details and the name of his bank for him to claims prize.

When contacted by our reporter both MTN and Glo disowned such massages, calling them '419ERS'.

Also Zain in a text massages to its customers warned that " please ignore any SMS telling you that you have won N1m and asking you to log on to www.zainnigeria.net.ms for your winning prize. This is not from Zain"

The telecoms regulator, Nigerians Communications Commission recently moved to enforce the operators to register SIM as part of the efforts to reduce scam in the country.

Another means by which the fraudsters exploit to rip-off Nigerians is through sending mails to many email addresses asking people to upgrade their ATM cards online.

One of the scam emails they use is 'Interswitch Nigeria' in which they asked recipients to urgently upgrade their ATM details otherwise they stand the risk of getting their ATM cards been blocked.

Daily Trust learnt that as soon as you reply such mails your card details will be hijacked and they will remove what ever remains in your account.

Some banks have already places warning notice informing their customers about such scams, saying that customers should disregards such mails.

Aso Savings, Abuja urged customers to "please disregard any website or SMS that asks u to update your banking/ATM card details online. No bank will ask you to for PIN online. Always protect your PIN".

Another massages from the bank read: "Don't reveal your PIN to anyone. Its your signature protect it".


Meanwhile, Zain Nigeria has denied sending text messages to its subscribers with a reward package of N1m, Punch newspaper reports.

The company in a text message to its subscribers on Saturday, read, “Dear customer, please ignore any SMS telling you that you have won N1m and asking you to log to www.zainnigeria.net.ms for your winnings. This is not from Zain.”

Zain Nigeria’s official website is: www.ng.zain.com

As a fraud alert, the company had stated on its website that, “In view of somewhat regular fraudulent messages being sent out on redeeming gifts in purported Zain promotions, we would like you to take note of the following information to prevent our esteemed subscribers from falling victim of these fraudsters:

Subscribers will be contacted only through the following ways:

“SMS from ‘Zain’; Phone call from 08021900000 or Zain staff line having the prefix 0802222****; Information of winners published on our website or in the press.

Communication to winners via SMS will always have Zain as the originator ID.”

According to the telecoms company, “We will never request that subscriber’s part with any belonging in order to redeem prizes (either in form of cash or forwarding of messages to other subscribers).

“We strongly advise our customers to always verify the authenticity of any suspicious/alleged text or email supposedly from Zain and relating to any bonanza, promotions or offer by calling our customer service on 111 or send an email to the subscriber fraud unit - fraudmanagement@ng.celtel.com or call 070800FRAUD.”

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