Titilayo Momoh, a textile trader at the Balogun market in Lagos is unlikely to forget the events of March 24th 2017 in a hurry. She attempted to end her life by jumping into the Lagoon. Fortunately security operatives on the Third Mainland Bridge spotted her and foiled the attempted suicide. In 2015 someone duped her of 18 million Naira . Suicide was the only option due to her inability to pay.
Now 2017, with the attendant recession and economic challenges is scamming season. Furthermore people will seek to fleece or con unsuspecting people out of their earnings. The only hope of defeating such unscrupulous people is by deploying the weapons of knowledge and intelligence in dealing with people. Here are eight scams currently popular in Nigeria:
The Telephone Call Contract Award Scam
This method used to be quite popular. Usually you get a phone call from someone purporting to have met you before who claims to work in Oil and Gas. He or she is outside Lagos and has a contract to buy and supply several items and wants you to handle this for them. You are then directed to a certain place to use your money to buy the items where you could be hypnotized and even harmed. You would do well not to jump at any business opportunity calls emanating from strangers.
The Online Dating Scam
One of the easiest ways to fall prey to scammers is by attempting to befriend strangers online. Many times the identities of beautiful ladies are stolen to entice mostly young men. Before you know it the lady wants to come and spend time with you. In order to do that however she needs transport, recharge cards, airfare, hotel accommodation which you must pay for. Even guys dupe unsuspecting women on online dating sites. Be careful about who you hook up with online.
The Pretentious Business Partner Scam
Cynthia Osokogu, student and aspiring entrepreneur was scammed and paid with her life when she met some people online who claimed they could provide her with goods for her store. When she came to meet them she was overdosed with drugs, raped and ended up losing her life. Do not meet in private places with someone you don’t know or haven’t met.
The Artisan Scam
I call this one the daily scam show. On a daily basis many artisans are preying on their customers. The mechanic, electrician, plumber, carpenter or any other artisan for that matter usually inflate the cost of materials needed to effect repairs or execute jobs for you. Checkmate these guys by getting a second opinion on the repairs. There’s also nothing wrong in finding out the price of the replacement parts yourself.
The Money for Spiritual Results Scam
Nigerians and many Africans would buy God if they could. There exists a thriving industry of Prophets, Seers, Herbalists and Alphas who claim to help people solve their problems. They tout to be able to hear from God directly. They request for money and several items to pray to God on one’s behalf, as if God spends money. There is no need for an intermediary between you and God. Many places of worship are fast becoming extortion centres.
The Public Service Extortion Racket
In addition get ready to be extorted whenever you approach a government agency. You want to resolve issues, or perhaps get an international passport or a driver’s license. Be ready to part with additional sums to grease the palms of government officials. The sad thing about this scam is there’s virtually nothing you can do about it. It’s a racket.
The Resolution of Bank Account Issues Scam
This is usually perpetrated online or by telephone. You receive correspondence that your account details need to be verified or the bank will block access to your account. The criminals pretend to be the bank requesting you to provide them with your details to resolve the situation. Your bank will never ask for your PIN and other sensitive details over the phone, or by email.
The Hypnotised Domestic Servant Scam
In this scam female domestic servants fall prey to scammers that hypnotise them. They return home and bring all their employer’s valuables to these people. Only after they have handed over these valuables and the scammers have departed that they regain consciousness. Always keep valuables securely where your domestic servants can’t access to forestall the possibility of this happening to you.
This list is probably not exhaustive, and scammers continually think up new ways of fleecing the unsuspecting public. There will always be scams and scammers in society. In conclusion knowledge is power. Consequently spotting a scam in advance reduces the risk of falling prey to it.