Mobile Fraud Ring On The Prowl in Nigeria

Scammer

We have been conducting investigations into the activities of a mobile fraud ring running in Nigeria. Evidence collected so far paints the picture of a well organised setup that defrauds unsuspecting consumers. Here is how it works:

On almost every free online marketplace serving the country e.g. TradeStable, GoogleTrader, OLX, etc, are individuals advertising brand new phones at ridiculously low prices. Its not about the online marketplaces, as those are legitimate operations. It is about individuals using them for criminal operations. So, these guys offer phones at mouth-watering prices. Sometimes, the prices are half the actual market costs. That is the sweet point, as Nigerians are always on the lookout for bargain prices. When you call the number attached to the ad, you are told about a nationwide delivery service, and that you will get to pay for your phone at the point of delivery. However, you need to pay the small delivery fee so the courier service can do their job of getting the phone to you.

Of course, this sounds very suspect, and your alarm bells should be sounding by now. But the catch is the low price of the device. You are getting a bargain and have not much to lose parting ways with N5,000 to get the phone delivered to you; right? Speaking with one of these “advertisers” on phone, he claimed to be a customs officers at Seme border and so have no office, hence the delivery service. He claimed that the phones are seized goods, which accounts for the very low selling prices. Suddenly, it sounds a tad more credible.

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Our team here thought we would investigate some more. We called at least five others who were advertising such low-cost phones. Every single one of them repeated the same lines to us. They all claimed to be customs officers, usually at Seme (in one case Port Harcourt) border. They all required the delivery fee upfront. The guy at Port Harcourt wanted us to pay the full sum of the phone he was advertising. All of them!

This was clearly a scam operation. A well oiled one. But we needed some proof. We got in touch with one of these advertisers who claimed to be at the Seme station and asked for his bank account details, then paid the N5,000 delivery fee, then notified him and sent a delivery address. As expected, the story changed from that point. Till today, his claim is that he has not received the cash in his account. Here are his details:

Name: Imadojemu Paul Jnr
Telephone: 0808 846 5980
Bank Account: Access Bank: 005 101 5918

We got in touch a couple of times with Access Bank, Ojodu and were able to confirm that the deposit has been indeed credited to his account. The last time we spoke with him on phone to challenge him, these where his words, “It seems you are not ready yet to collect your phone”, and then he hung up.

We were right. This is a scam ring and probably has one or two influential people involved. For the records, and hopefully to get Access Bank to scrutinise that account, we lodged a complaint to them and the staff who attended to us mentioned that there had been a similar complaint the previous week. We were asked to file a written complaint too. Let’s hope that Access Bank can get this particular individual’s account shut down. But then what? There are several more, and even more will step up to the plate. At the end of the day, it is up to you to be informed enough not to fall into their trap.

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Don’t be taken in by the low prices. If it looks too good to be true, it is almost not true. These guys are counting on the fact that most people will eventually just get tired of calling and that most people would get on with their lives after that. Spread the word. Mobile scammers are on the prowl! And they are after your money. Simple.

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

13 thoughts on “Mobile Fraud Ring On The Prowl in Nigeria

  • March 15, 2013 at 7:24 am
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    not only in mobile, same guys do so with cars, claiming that the vehicles is at seme border, the vehicles are listed with a very low price. when you inquire about the car, they ask you to send cash for fuel to drive down to Lagos, one once claimed vehicle is in kaduna and he needs fuel worth NGN10,000 to drive down…..

    it’s all scam folks.

  • March 15, 2013 at 8:59 am
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    Mehn! This people are spoiling show for other hard working nigerians oh. I’ve been trying to sell my 9300 on google trader n olx n as dis news goes around, those sites would continue to lose credibility.

  • March 15, 2013 at 10:29 am
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    good piece! caveat Emptor.

    But then, this is a chicken and egg problem.

    a business / service like Mobility Blog, asks for upfront payment to deliver devices / services to far away places too.

    why would anybody do that? track record, or your trust of the Mobility Brand..

    before the establishment of that track record , some individuals must have taken a risk trusting Mobility too!

    Of course, in every business transaction (online or not), it pays to be careful.

    but then, for a business deal to happen, one party almost always needs to trust the other party.

    ..and when that trust is betrayed, it is a sad thing indeed.

  • March 15, 2013 at 11:24 am
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    The money is not lost. So far it involved a Bank. There is a standing CBN rule for Banks to Know there customer KYC and there customers biz KYB. So the Bank should produce there customer. In perfecting every Bank account, the law required the Customer care officer to do a visitation to there customer residence.
    With all these in place the bank should produce there customer or else produce the money. I know by the time you write the Bank branch to produce there customer and copy their head office your money will surface. Please don’t send that of the head office until the branch proof difficult unless head will roll.

  • March 15, 2013 at 8:24 pm
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    Avoid scams, deal locally…meet up for the exchange! It’s that simple.

  • March 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm
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    Mr Mo,God bless you.Very simple As stated,there are CBN/Bank rules.Insist for a refund,or Access Bank is part of the Fraud!
    Tighten the noise,apply the pressure.we need to know who owns the Account.pls give us the 2part of this evolving story.

  • March 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm
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    It is unfortunate that people still fall to all these little tricks. Before I do any only business with any company in Nigeria, it is either I already know the company and its location or it is a very popular one and generally well known and of course, whatever contact I’m to use must be verified before hand.

  • March 18, 2013 at 12:04 am
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    There its done, this story has been Submitted in hacker news for all to learn something from it.

  • March 18, 2013 at 7:34 am
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    Hmmmm

    Its at times like this that I wonder what banks are doing with all the Know Your Customer, Reference, and NFIU Report and what GSM providers are doing with Mobile number registration if these boys cant be tracked and convicted.

    The whites have improved on their techniques of countering this boys and they have brought back the scams to Nigeria.

    They have to be dealt with, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  • March 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm
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    I almost fell victim to one of these crooks.

    I saw an advert to buy a brand new 40 inch Samsung LED TV for just 40k. It was a bargain price so I called the guy, he told me he was in Port Harcourt but could send the goods for me via DHL.

    I told him not to worry about shipping as I was close to port Harcourt and could pick them up myself.

    When I got to Port Harcourt he told me he had taken a flight to Lagos because of an emergency but I should still send the money so he can ship it through DHL.

    Which kind mugu be this?

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