Scammers always utilize every loophole to perpetuate their evil agander. Coronavirus has presented desirable opportunities and keyboard soldiers are having their field day. Don’t fall prey, read the following methods they employ in order to stay safe.
Different degrees of lockdown was imposed by various governments in different locations across the globe. This really took a tole on the finances of families and individuals thus prompting the provision of palliatives to help ameliorate the harsh effect of the directive.
In Nigeria, the way and manner by which the exercise is carried out, creates many loopholes for scam. So scammers do the following:
1. Create fake websites that is used to harvest personal details from unsuspecting individuals who are lured with a fake promise of registering them in the government’s database for sharing of palliatives.
While filling out such forms, you notice that you’re asked to provide your account details and some other personal details.
2. They can call you on phone (there are many ways of obtaining your phone number, we will discuss that next time). They will announce to you with excitement that you have been selected for government palliatives. They will ask you for your address, account number and BVN. The objective is to obtain your banking details necessary for hacking your account. Do not fall for it.
3. You could be sent SMS, email or direct social media message with a link to register as a beneficiary.
Personal Protection Equipments have been in short supply since the beginning of the pandemic. Panic buying and desperate demand have created avenue for fraudsters to carry out their trade successfully.
They advertise non existing materials to prospective buyers who thereafter place orders. Shortly thereafter they come up with different stories such as that the producers have gotten buyers with cash on hand, and then go ahead to demand for part payment or tip to help them secure the deal. Once any payment is made, they disappear or cook up more stories.
Individuals and Non Governmental Organizations make donations to the public to augment government’s effort. However, such donations do not get to the beneficiaries directly. There is always a middle man between the donors and the recipients thus creating room for fraud.
Scammers normally come with stories that a certain NGO is compiling list of would-be beneficiaries of which one of their chairman is involved in the process. They thereby demand for money from you in order to enlist you and your friends and relatives. Don’t fall prey, it’s nothing but scam.
Where there is lockdown, government normally gives permit to those that carry out essential services such as medical and health workers among others. Currently, many fake passes are hawked by scammers and sold to people who are desperate to travel for one reason or the other.
Granted, such permits/passes gives you a pass in some checkpoints, but some eagle eyes security operatives can still burst the fraud. Sadly, if caught in such urgly situation, you’ll have to sort yourself with a lot of money.
Scammers keep getting clever by the day, they utilize every opportunity to defraud and they succeed. Do not become one of their victims. Be smart and ask questions when you notice foul play.