EFCC | Wanted Persons

It is an illusion for anyone to believe that it is impossible to fall victim of fraud. Conventional wisdom recommends that we be on guard always as scammers everywhere are incredibly deceptive and can ensnare even the most intelligent amongst us.

They operate with guile and strike when you least expect. The most educated and the high net worth as well as the most impoverished members of the society have been victims at one time or the other. The young as well as the aged have been targeted. Scammers do not care who their victims are. They strike wherever, and whenever they believe they have the chance to succeed. They are ever alert, setting traps to ensnare their victims. On the internet, through the telephone and even physical interaction, they stalk their preys like the deadly predators that they are.

But the way to avert becoming a prey is to be conscious of the modus operandi of scammers and the different shades of scam (even though scammers are ever ingenious as new schemes emerge almost on daily basis). Their objective is simple; to steal your money, not through violent means as in armed robbery but through the deployment of a bag of tricks they appeal to the human emotion. The quintessential scammer is a confidence con artist who exploits the emotions of dishonesty, honesty, vanity, compassion, naivety greed, among others; to fleece their victim.

Working on these emotions, several genres of scams have emerged. There is the classical 419 where scammers obtain money from their victims by false pretence; there is love or marriage scam where fraudsters use the promise of wedlock as bait to fleece their victims; there is lottery scam where people are asked to pay fees to redeem prizes supposedly won in a sweep stake; there is inheritance scam, and more.

To a considerable extent, most scams are promoted by the greed of victims. For instance, a person who has not entered for a lottery ought not to expect to win yet people, out of greed, believe they can be winners in a game they have not played! So, the starting point is for people to check the appetite for unmerited windfalls.

If you want to be immune from scam, the inoculation you need is adequate information. Arm yourself with relevant information on the different types of scams, and the tell-tale signs that could trigger alarm in your consciousness. Such information are available in EFCC publications as well as on our website, efccnigeria.org

Below is a checklist of actions that could save you from the snare of scammers:

  • It pays not be too emotional and to double check every information you are given in any business or social relationship.
  • Do not give out information about yourself to anybody you don't know or trust.
  • Never respond to any mail except you are sure of the source.
  • Be very circumspect about stories you are told by strangers and supposed lovers in an internet affair.
  • Above all, never send money or disclose your banking details to any one you do not know or trust.
  • Never part with your money until you are 100 percent certain that the business is genuine.
  • Don't be part of any transaction that seems dubious or which you might not be comfortable discussing with family, friends and associates.
  • Any transaction cloaked in secrecy is an expressway to financial ruin.