Fraud

  • Beware! Your ATM’s CVV number can be used to defraud you

    No doubt ATM debit and credit cards are very convenient methods of financial transactions. These cards have eliminated the need to visit the bank branch each time to withdraw cash. However, with this ease in transaction comes a rising case of card frauds and unauthorized transactions on the account of bank customers. 

    Each of these cards has a card verification value (CVV) printed at the back or front of the card and with access to the cards’ CVV, full card number, customer name and expiry date, fraudsters can conveniently wipe out money from customers’ bank accounts by using the details to engage in online transactions with other retailers. 

    Reported cases of this pattern have been on the rise lately, especially as we approach the bank fraud frenzy season – Christmas and New Year. 

    Recently, a Kano based housewife lost over two hundred thousand naira to fraudsters by giving out her CVV and other card details. After disclosing her details, she was at the verge of disclosing her husband’s card details to the fraudulent callers who posed as bank officials when her husband returned home, thereby rescuing the situation. 

    They told me they were from our bank and they needed to do an upgrade on I and my husbands account but i have to furnish them with details of our ATM Card, so as soon as i gave out my card details they requested for my husband’s own, just as i was about to reel it out for them my husband returned and was baffled that i was holding his ATM card and was talking to someone on the phone,” Hauwa Sulaiman, a 34years old Housewife in Gandu Area of Kano told “A Karkada kunnuwa” a popular Hausa programme on Rahama Radio 97.3fm Kano, Monday Night. 

    As soon as i snatched the phone from her and attempted to speak to the callers at the other end, they hung up and just then, we started seeing debit alerts on her phone one after another to the tune of NGN240,000,” Mallam Sulaiman, Hauwa’s husband and a Kano based businessman explained further. 

    Such cases are rampant and have dominated the airwaves recently, particularly in Kano. 

    Understanding ATM, Debit and Credit Cards

    An Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card is a payment card or dedicated payment card issued by a financial institution which enables a customer to access their financial accounts via its and others’ automated teller machines and to make approved points of purchase retail transactions. ATM cards are not credit cards or debit cards, though some ATM cards also function as debit cards, which may be used to make purchases online and at retail establishments. Such cards have visible Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express logos, while Debit cards, also known as check cards, do everything ATM cards do but can also be used for purchases anywhere credit cards are accepted, including retail stores and online sites. The funds from these transactions are taken directly from your checking account. On the other hand, Credit Cards let you borrow from your credit card issuer. Funds do not come directly out of your checking account. You will have a loan balance for any advance you take that you must pay off at a later date. Since it’s a loan, your credit card comes with interest charges.

    What is CVV?  

    This is a three-digit (most commonly) or four-digit (on American Express cards) unique number printed on the card. This code is required to complete a transaction. Its purpose is to prove to the retailer that the customer has the card in his or her possession.

    What is the CVV number used for?

    All financial institutions that issue credit or debit cards have developed a system in which every card is provided with a unique CVV code. This code is required to complete any monetary transactions that are carried out with the card. CVV number is different from the PIN number which is like a password to complete card transactions. CVV number is present on the back side of your card on the magnetic strip. It verifies that the card is physically available with the individual using it during the transaction.

    CVV Protects You against Fraud, but…

    Debit and credit cards are mainly used for online transactions or for other virtual payment gateways. These portals are not allowed to save any information about the CVV number of the cardholder since it is against the Per Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Hence, even if the vendor has all the other details of your card, they cannot access the CVV. This makes it impossible for anyone to misuse your card information. So if there is a breach in the data security of the credit card issuing company, the CVV is not stored in the databases. This makes it impossible to use your credit card for transactions without the CVV. However, it is the same system that fraudsters can use to wipe out your account balance, but how? They steal your details through the following techniques: 

    How Your CVV, Other Card Details Can Be Stolen

    There are about four primary malware attacks against PCs designed to steal credit card details, including the CVV. These are phishing, infostealers, keyloggers, and browser insertion malware.

    Phishing is based on the use of social engineering to persuade users to visit a malicious website. This can be via a disguised link in the email, a link to a look-alike but false website, or links embedded in an attachment. Once the user visits the fallacious website, further social engineering is used to persuade the victim to enter card details, which are captured and sent to the criminal.

    Keyloggers comprise malware of varying sophistication that can watch for triggers (such as accessing a bank site or major retailer) and then capture the keys typed at the keyboard. Any card details are recognized, recorded, and sent to the criminal.

    Infostealers are generally smash and grab raids. If a PC is infected, the malware scans the system and steals confidential data – including any payment details it can find. This can often be achieved in a matter of seconds. More persistent infostealers may also drop a keylogger for longer term activities.

    Browser insertion malware will infiltrate the victim’s browser. It usually focuses on just one or two of the major national banks or major retailers. When it detects the user visiting one of these sites, it overlays its own copy of the bank’s login form or retailer’s payment details form. Data entered into these identical but false forms is captured and sent to the criminal. 

    However, a very common technique used by the fraudsters use in Kano and most part of Nigeria; therefore, is Vishing which is the fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving voice messages purporting to be from reputable companies (mostly claims of being bank officials) in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as bank details and credit card numbers.

    But How Can We Stay Safe? 

    Here are some tips for keeping this key three/four digits and other credit card details safe: 

    Don’t share your number with people who call you. Don’t ever give your CVV number to someone who calls you, even if that person claims to be working with your card provider. Credit card companies and banks won’t call you and ask for this information. If someone does, it’s a scammer. Hang up.

    Don’t fall for email phishing attempts. Never provide your ATM credit or debit card information, including your CVV code, to people who ask for it through emails. Scammers often send phishing emails to victims asking that they verify their credit card information to prevent shutdowns of their accounts. This, too, is a scam. Banks will never contact you online to ask for this information.

    Often, these scam emails will ask you to click on a link. The page you land on will request that you enter your personal or financial information. Once you do, a scammer will have your information and can begin making purchases in your name.

    Don’t send your ATM’s credit card or debit card information in an email. Sophisticated cybercriminals can scan your emails, looking for credit card numbers. Never send your credit or debit card numbers or CVV codes to anyone by email.

    For PCs we need to use a good and up-to-date anti-virus product. That will detect and block most malwares. We need to be security-aware, to recognize and ignore phishing attempts. And we should keep our browser fully patched and/or consider using a more secure browser.

    The researcher produced this information literacy article per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame Kari Kari Fellowship partnership with PRNigeria to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • False: Sim Swap Fraud Alert Message Impossible, Not From UBA Liberia

    Claim: A WhatsApp message purportedly originating from the United Bank for Africa and alerting customers of fraud has been widely circulated on both WhatsApp and Messenger generating tons of reactions. 

    The Management of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Liberia has denied that the message originated from the bank.

    Full Text

    A viral WhatsApp message which claimed to have originated from the United Bank of Africa warns customers about a new High Tech Fraud called “Sims Swap Fraud.” The scam is said to have victimized hundreds of people already.

    The message warns: Your Bank Account could be emptied without an Alert.  Dear All, Please let' be very careful.. There is a new HIGH TECH FRAUD in town called the SIM SWAP FRAUD, and hundreds of persons are already VICTIMS.” 

    How does it work?  1. A new fraud called SIM SWAP has started. Your phone network will momentarily go blind / zero (No Signal / Zero Bars) and after a while a call will come through.  2. The Person on the other end of the call will tell you that he is calling from (your cell phone company) depending on your network and that there is a problem in your mobile network.  3. He will instruct you to please press 1 on your phone to get the network back.  – Please at this stage don' to Press anything, just cut or END the call. If you press 1, the network will appear suddenly and almost immediately go blind again (Zero Bars) and by that action, your phone is #HACKED.  Within a second, they will empty your bank account, and you won't receive any alert. 

    The alert warns further, What you will experience. It will appear as though your line is without Network; meanwhile your SIM has been SWAPPED.  The danger here is that you will not get any alert of any transactions, so please those of us doing USSD Banking and Mobile Banking BEWARE.  Let'sbe very careful.  Please, forward to your contacts, loved ones and friends. 

    The fraud is increasing day by day. And it ended by encouraging all to share the message “Don't forget to share this post…… I repeat don't forget to share this post. Many people's Account has been emptied! #UBAcares.

    C:\Users\Josephine Wreh\Desktop\Screenshot_20210727-110657_WhatsApp.jpg

    Verification

    In our effort to verify the authenticity of the claim, we contacted Emmanuel K. Barnes, the Branch Manager of UBA Liberia for Redlight Branch, to verify the source of the claim but Barnes denied that the message originated from the Bank. 

    “We are not the ones sending such messages, whatever message we have for our customers, we would send through phone number directly or post it on our face book page which is called UBA Liberia,” he said.

    He added that the system at the UBA is well built which makes it highly improbable for hackers to access and penetrate.

    Also, the head of Digital Marketing at UBA Liberia, Momolu Momo, said the bank has already received numerous calls from customers on the fraud alert but had informed them that the alert did not come from the Bank. 

    “Some of our customers called to find out why some of them did not receive the message on their phones but instead seeing it on social media platforms, but we told them it was not from us,” he said.

    Our reporter also spoke with the communications manager at Orange Liberia Betty Flahn, one of Liberia’s leading GSM companies who said that it is impossible to swap a person’s sim with just a phone call.

    A Liberian IT expert Lauren E. A. Kolleh in an interview via phone added that the swapping of sim cards does not work by just a phone call.

    “Before you swap a sim the person’s phone has to be in your hands, without that it is impossible.”

    Conclusion

    Based on the findings from the UBA Liberia management, we have concluded that the Fraud Alert message circulating on Messenger and WhatsApp that the message did not originate from UBA Liberia as it has been mentioned in the claim.

  • Fraudulent scheme, Access Capital Investment Company, promises double returns on investment

    Claim:  A viral message on WhatsApp purportedly originating from an investment company, claims to offer double return on investments.

    Findings have revealed that the scheme is fraudulent and the so-called company is not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

    Full Text

    A message has been making the rounds on WhatsApp,  urging Nigerians to join Access Capital Investment Group to enjoy double return on investments.

    The message which appears in different Whatsapp groups promises a return of N20, 000 for a N10, 000 investment, N40, 000 for a N20, 000 up till N1 million for a N500, 000 investment.

    A name and number was also posted in case an intending investor wants more information.

    Screenshot of Messages

    In order to propagate the message, Dubawa discovered that the fraudsters are in the habit of  first  hacking a trusted account, in order to reach the account owners’ audience.

    In this case, after this writer received the message in one of the groups she belongs to around 1:58 p.m., the victim  followed with a disclaimer,  in one of the platforms with a different number, one hour later asking group members to disregard any fraudulent message, because his WhatsApp number had been hacked.

    Screenshot of the First message

    Disclaimer by Azi

    Curious to know about this Scam, Dubawa joined the groups, but the instruction “only admins can send messages” first caught this writer’s attention.

    Screenshot of the first group

    Bursting the fraudster

    Soon after joining, I received a message from an unknown number(+234 706 750 4886), at 2: 59pm which sent me testimonial videos, and a proposal that I will get paid for referring others to the group and also get paid for saving money on the platform. I was also promised a percentage of returns as my principal investment will still be safe. So, I registered with fake details.

    Immediately a number called me, around 3: 41pm, to confirm my account details,  and I noticed that Truecaller tagged the caller “scammer”

    After the  conversation with the caller, I got a congratulatory message on WhatsApp, that read’s ” YOUR SUBMISSION HAS BEEN RECEIVED SUCCESSFULLY

    PAYMENT IS TO BE MADE IMMEDIATELY YOUR REGISTRATION IS SUCCESSFUL FOR YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT AT THE DURATION TIME OF 45 MINUTES

    NOTE !!!

    IF YOUR PAYMENT IS SUCCESSFUL KINDLY PROVIDE THE PROOF OF YOUR PAYMENT TO THE SUPERIOR OF THE PLATFORM FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF YOUR PAYMENT”

    Verification with Truecaller

    I decided to verify the caller’s identity on Truecaller.

    I also verified the Account details, by the so called company:

    ACCESS CAPITAL INVESTMENT ACCOUNT DETAILS

    ACC NAME: FET DAVID

    ACC NO: 3177496762 

    BANK NAME: FIRST BANK”

    Then I discovered that the account name does not correspond with the company Name, since every registered company carries the company details.

    I went further to confirm the company registration on Corporate Affairs Commission but It was not found.

    I also ran a word search, and I found a warning that read’s ” Pls Don’t Get Involved With Access Capital Investment. They Scammed Me Yesterday”

    Tips to avoid being conned

    As outlined by Federal Trade Commission:

    • Protect your computer by using security software. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats.
    • Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates could give you critical protection against security threats.
    • Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication, it makes it harder for scammers to log in to your accounts if they do get your username and password.

    Conclusion

    Verification has revealed that the offer by Access Capital Investment Company to offer double return on investments is fraudulent and the company is not recognised by  Corporate Affairs Commission

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with JAY 101.9 FM Jos to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country

  • Online Fraud: Ways to Spot Fake Websites

    Digital evolution and  technological advancement has without doubt  caused changes in almost all aspects of human endeavor. While these changes have contributed immensely to both human and social development, it has also ushered in an era of fraudulent activities online, what Nigerians widely regard as “Yahoo Yahoo” or “419” in the general sense. 

    These online fraud, has been mostly associated with Investment scams, a type of online fraud that offers unsuspecting members of the society juicy investment deals only to swindle their stakes at the long run and financial identity theft, is a type of online fradulent theft where a criminal steals personal or financial information from a victim without their knowledge in order to commit financial fraud or other crimes. According to a report by, a type that is carried out by scammers to access a personal financial details of persons and use it in turn to steal their bank savings.  

    These heralding issues and the possible risks online users are prone to, led the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to warn and discourage people against paying attention to messages and calls that demands access to their financial details or offers good investment deals. According to a report by  , Datarepotal, a database for global internet use, mobile devices and apps, social media, and e-commerce.

    Nigeria has over 104.4 million internet users as of January 2021 and  this has even increased between 2020 and 2021 with over 19 million new users added. This enormous growth of internet users in the country suggests a wider reach for scammers, a concern that led the Central Bank of Nigeria  to warn members of the public against paying attention to messages and claims that appear questionable or juicy to be true. This reality also makes it important for members of the public to know some of these fraudulent schemes are perpetuated, especially through fake websites and enticing links. 

    Fake websites: a strategy for online con-artists

    Fake websites have become serious threats to online security. While  some of these websites will tempt you to provide sensitive information to steal your identity, others simply do that when you merely click the link that is usually the bait. 

    Even more, according to new data by the American Federal Trade Commision, the use of social media by online fraudsters to get potential victims to click to their fake websites is on the rise. Scams starting on social media proliferated in early 2020 and are now a major issue. 

    Thus as social media users increase by the day, so also is the rise of its usage by fraudsters to bait users into their websites using fake generated links. These links are sometimes attached to fancy ads or enticing  offers to market to convince unsuspecting users into falling victims of these ruse scams.

    A typical example of an online fraud shared as a Whatsapp message to bait users

    Some scammers even hide behind phony profiles on social media to share false testimonies to completely unfounded schemes just to convince other users. They can hack an account or join a virtual community you trust to encourage you to trust them. Nonetheless, there are multiple types of these online fraud and scams. 

    Types of online Scams

    • Romance scam: Romance scammers often lure people with a fake online profile on social media. Once these fraudsters win the hearts and trust of their victims, they will claim they are suddenly in need of money for a medical emergency or some kind of personal crisis. 
    • Phishing: Is a rich source of income for fraudsters. Scammers often lure their victims on Facebook or Twitter or in a direct message, playing on human emotions, often advertising a gift or special offer.
    • Get Rich quick scams: these are false promises about investing in some Forex schemes.
    • Spoofing: Spoofing is falsifying data on caller ID to disguise who’s on the line. In a bid for authenticity, the spoofed number could belong to a legitimate government agency or a business known to you.
    • Computer pop-ups

    Pop-up warnings can show up on your computer. Alarms may sound. Click on a suspicious link or open an attachment and malware — that’s software used for malicious purposes — can compromise your computer system and steal your data. Never call the phone number that appears on a computer pop-up.

    • Fake photos

    Images can be stolen from the internet, altered or even forged  to lend credence to a bogus profile or website.

    Knowing how to spot the red flags in these fraudulent activities is a crucial skill for online users to master, so as to know what to look for. Thus, users can protect themselves by simply  learning how to identify fake websites, and  once they know how to spot them, they can keep themselves and their computers secure.

    7 Ways to Verify a Website

    Pay attention to the address bar:

    The first thing you want to look for on a website is the HTTPS at the beginning of the address. The S in HTTPS stands for secure and shows that the website uses encryption to transfer data, protecting it from hackers. So if a website uses HTTP,  void of the ‘S’, for ‘secure’  there is no guarantee that the website is safe. Therefore,  to be on the safe side, you should never enter personal information into a website that is HTTP.

    So the difference between HTTP and  HTTPS is simply the presence of an SSL certificate. HTTP doesn’t have SSL and HTTPS has SSL, which encrypts your information so your connections are secured. HTTPS also has TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol that HTTP lacks. HTTPS is more secure than HTTP.

    While HTTPS is secured under a protected platter, HTTP is widely open for scammers grasps

    Check if the URL is misspelled:

    According to digicert, one key indicator of a fake site is a misspelled URL. Fraudsters may change up a URL name slightly, like using amaz0n.com, or they may change the domain extension like amazon.org instead of amazon.com. Nonetheless, the key thing here is to try to find the differences and check well to confirm if you are on the right website. 

    A typical example of a fake Amazon  website. Squared red, ‘Amazon’ is misspelled as ‘Amazonx’ to lure users into giving away their personal information

    No privacy policy or terms and conditions:

    Those long terms and conditions documents that most people skim over? They often contain important legal information about how the business that you’re dealing with is going to protect your personal information, and how they’re liable to keep you safe during your transactions.

    Scam websites generally won’t have these, since they’re unlikely to be read. Try looking in the website’s footer. If you can’t easily find privacy information, the website you’re on could be trying to scam you.

    Look for a lock:

    The padlock on a website means that a site is secured by an TLS/SSL certificate that encrypts user data.When you go to a site that has a padlock icon next to the site name, it means the site is secured with a digital certificate. This means that any information sent between your browser and the website is sent securely, and can’t be intercepted and read by someone else while the information is in transit.

    A typical example of a site with a security lock and the one without

    Run site through a website checker:

    Use a website checker to verify if a website is secure. A secure website check can let you know any vulnerabilities on the site, if it is using encryption and what level of verification a site has. The Website Checker also analyzes the website to see how well equipped it is for secure usage online, and gives you details about the site.

     A typical result of a website analyzed under ScamDoc website checker

    Double-check the domain name:

    A lot of fraudulent websites will use a domain name that references a well-known brand or product name. But won’t be the official website, for example:

    website domains such as www.ipadoffers.net or www.discountnikeclothes.com should raise alarm bells. 

    Check Whether the Company Has a Social Media Presence:

    Most legitimate companies have some level of a social media presence. Fake websites sometimes have the icons for Twitter or Facebook, but the graphics don’t actually link to a real account. Read company reviews on such platforms and see if you can find real employees of the company on LinkedIn.

    Conclusion

    Online users can make it harder for scammers to carry out their tricks if they secure their social media privacy settings; limit what they share publicly, and be wary of clicking links and deceitful  online investment. Online fraud is real but online security protocols are also feasible. 

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with JAY 101.9 FM Jos to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country

  • Website asking Nigerians to verify NIN-SIM status is fraudulent

    Claim: A viral post on WhatsApp is asking Nigerians to verify their NIN-SIM status via a website.

    NIN-SIM verification can only be done using accredited channels including NIMC Mobile App and website.

    FULL TEXT

    A viral post on WhatsApp is asking Nigerians to verify the status of their National Identity Number (NIN) linkage with their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM).

    This post tends to direct unsuspecting Nigerians to this website using a free URL shortener, bit.ly by creating a URL that contains certain keywords such as Nigeria, SIM and Checker.

    This message was shared amidst uncertainty that greeted the directive of the Federal Government asking Nigerians to link their NIN with their SIMs or risk disconnection.

    A screenshot of the forwarded-as-received message

    The message titled: “CHECK IF NIN IS SUCCESSFULLY LINK TO YOUR SIM/CHECK SIM STATUS,” reads “Check if Your NIN is successfully Link to your MTN, AIRTEL, GLO AND 9MOBILE SIM  to avoid being  block by the Federal Government  | you don’t need to go to NIMC offices to CHECK this tap link below to check | Please share this message to many groups to inform others *THANK YOU* Click http://bit.ly/Sim-Checker-Online-Nigeria.”

    A screenshot of the landing page of the website

    VERIFICATION

    Checks on the message showed that it contained grammatical errors and irregular capitalisation of certain letters that cast doubts on its authenticity.

    The landing page of the destination website also looked like the landing pages of websites earlier checked by Dubawa here, here and here.

    The landing page has a like, comment and share counter believed to be included as part of efforts to gain the trust of visitors.

    When Dubawa ran the web address of the website through Scam Doc, a web tool that evaluates the reliability of “digital identities” (email addresses or websites), results showed that the website has a 1% trust score.

    Scam Doc also revealed that the domain name is very recent (less than 6 months) and has a short life expectancy domain, adding that the domain name is linked to one or more countries known for being used by fraudulent websites.

    Further checks on the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) website revealed that Nigerians have been warned not to upload their NIN on unauthorised websites and portals.

    The warning titled Fraud Alert reads in part: “Do not submit your NIN or NIN to unauthorised Apps. Beware of dubious apps collecting your NIN or BVN details. Use only apps from NIMC and clearly identifiable, authorised NIMC partners.

    “Beware of unauthorised apps asking for your NIN (e.g. NIN Linker). NIMC will never ask you to upload your BVN or NIN on any unauthorised portal!

    “Always use the NIMC website https://www.nimc.gov.ng for valid information.

    Beware of messages from people using dubious email addresses designed to resemble NIMC emails asking you to click on links to FAKE websites and upload your BVNs or NINs.

    “It is SAFER to do online pre-enrolment yourself using personal computers, internet-enabled telephones and other devices, then heading to a NIMC enrolment centre near you.”

    CONCLUSION

    Based on the warning by NIMC and the webpage analysis done by Dubawa, verification of NIN-SIM linkage using this website is false.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with The Nigerian Tribune to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • Fraud Alert: MTN not offering customers new year gift reward

    Claim: A web-based message circulating via a link on WhatsApp claims MTN is offering a 2021 New year customer reward program.

    Verdict: the link circulating on WhatsApp claiming to offer MTN 2021 New year customer reward program is false. It was confirmed by MTN to be fraudulent and deceptive.

    Full text

    A certain link circulating on WhatsApp claims to offer MTN 2021 New year Customer reward program. The link which is also a pathway to the acclaimed gift-offering website requires users to check if they have been selected for the Gifts. 

    The checking procedure requires customers to enter their phone numbers into a space provided to confirm whether they have been selected for the gift. The acclaimed gift includes 50,000 Naira cash for the first 5000 people; 100GB of data for 20000 users, and 10000 Naira worth of airtime for 100000 users. To access these gifts, users are required to click a green button with the WhatsApp insignia, then copy the link offered (the same one under scrutiny) and share it on 12 WhatsApp groups before finally getting the gifts.  As a result, the link has been shared on WhatsApp over 6,789 times.

    However, in the past, DUBAWA has confirmed similar links offering related services to the public to be fraudulent and deceptive. Thus, the link is subjected to scrutiny to verify its authenticity and the services it claims to offer.

    Verification 

    Dubawa first contacted MTN Nigeria Customer Service via a phone call to confirm the authenticity of the link and the services it claimed to offer. In response, Saleh Reheema, MTN Customer Service representative said the link in question is fraudulent, only posing as MTN to deceive unsuspecting members of the society. 

    “People should desist from this link because MTN is currently not offering such services at the moment. This is apparently fraudulent and deceptive,” she said.

    Furthermore, one major inconsistency traced within the website raised even more red flags. The website claimed that the gifts are only meant for 2,400 selected customers, yet on the same page it’s advertised that   “50,000 naira cash for the first 5,000 people; 100GB of data for 2,0000 users, and 10,000 Naira worth of airtime for 100,000 users.”  

    Highlighted in the blue inscription where it was written: “enter your number to check if you are among the 2,400 customers selected to receive the award” 

    Also on the same page where the same gifts are pledged for 5000, 20,000, and 100,000 customers

    Similarly, when the website link was accessed on Scamdoc, the tool gave it a very bad trust score of 1%, implying that the link was recent and known for being used for fraudulent activities.

    Also, we uncovered the link in question to be a data phishing website. Such sites are usually riddled with installed root pop-up ads that generate traffic through fraudulent schemes; worse still, they engage in the extraction of users’ data and financial details for nefarious purposes. 

    Conclusion 

    The information circulating about MTN offering gifts to customers is fraudulent and deceptive. The website is riddled with multiple red flags and inconsistencies including MTN’s  confirmation obtained that the claim is deceitful.  

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