Scam is a very common thing in Nigeria. it comes in different ways. These ways are normally referred to as “format” by scammers and fraudsters.
Scam can easily be detected due to its absurdity, but these absurdities are generally misinterpreted by poor and greedy people as an opportunity. That is what the scammers capitalize on.
They create an impossible opportunity and make it look like its a “temporary once in a lifetime” chance to wealth and riches and the weak minded will be convinced.
Majority of their victims are desperate money seekers who lack common sense.
We will look at samples of the formats they use in preying on greedy individuals and/or organizations.
- Celebrity Impersonation (Facebook): This method has been made famous recently, thanks to the emergence of social media giants Facebook. Almost everybody is on Facebook and that makes it a lucrative hunting space for scammers.
They pick a popular celebrity who doesn’t have a verified presence on Facebook (Thanks to the lapses on Facebook’s authentication processes and methods) and create a page on his/her behalf. At first they will be posting pictures and quotes of the celebrity to appear authentic and to gain trust and follower-ship.
When they have a significant number of engagements they will strike with their scam.
Case Study: Male – (Yul Edochie)
It will look like this’
They will ask a very easy question like “whats the capital of Nigeria? The first 100 to get it right will receive an iPhone 6” When you answer and get it right they will congratulate you and tell you that you have won. They will let you glamour in the moment of triumph such that their next news won’t seem so outrageous. They will now strike with the actual scam which goes like this’
To redeem you iPhone 6 pay the sum of 10,000 naira to a certain account for courier to deliver to your address. It all sounds legit and professional Your initial thought will be that 10,000 is nothing compared to the actual cost of an iPhone 6 so you are still winning regardless. When you pay the money they will stop replying you and therefore you have been scammed.
The problem with this is that because the amount collected from you is relatively small you may not see the need to report the activity to the police considering that reporting anything to the Nigerian police comes at a cost of its own. So spending money to report a fraud of 10,000 naira will look pretty stupid. So these things never get reported. Now the scammer who will do this to 100 or more people will be making a whopping 1 Million Naira or more depending on how may weak minded people there are.
They will also create other branches of scam within the same subject as an annex or for their colleagues
Case Study : Female – (Chizzy Alichi)
It will look like this
Impersonating a female celebrity is perfect to attract perverts who are willing pay anything for sex or nude photos. It doesn’t take a lot of brainwork from the scammer to pull this off. All you need are some sexy pictures of the female celebrity and the ability to respond like a girl and thats it.
Just a few conversations and the pervert will become a self made bait by asking for nudes which will automatically prompt the scammer to request for money, generally a large amount. Since you are a celebrity you shouldn’t ask for peanuts to reveal your nudes. This doesn’t happen immediately as the celebrity will be reluctant at first to authenticate her status which will make the pervert persist and persuade. It is when she gives in she will ask for money.
- Instagram: It is a lot difficult to impersonate a celebrity on instagram due to its various limitation. The reason is because almost every celebrity is on instagram and they generally have lots of followers. The ones that recently joined with little followers are authenticated by their fellow celebrities who follow them as it displays on their profile and recommendations. This process has really reduced impersonation fraud on instagram but this hasn’t stopped the scammers. Improving your security doesn’t necessarily stop the thief but make him improve his techniques as well.
Our most recent encounter even shocked me. The efforts these scammers put into their work if not condemnable should be laudable.
Case Study (Mike Ezuruonye)
The video below speaks for itself
Most of these guys condemn these acts on their authentic social media accounts; see examples below
P.S if you are unsure about the authenticity of any celebrity account please contact us to assist you.
Web Developer and Administrator at HN Initiative