From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
A criminologist at the University of Ibadan, Dr Oludayo Tade, has uncovered a new loan recovery fraud designed to scam Nigerians.
He made the disclosure in a press release, entitled: ‘Loan Recovery Scam: A New Strategy of Fraud,’ he made available to journalists in Ibadan on Sunday.
According to him, people have started receiving text messages from a fictitious bank where a supposed loan was taken and the text recipient is said to have been used as guarantor.
The story will then be that the guarantor must ensure that the loan procurer pays back or a legal case will be instituted against him/her.
Tade said the message is crafted in such a way that the message recipient is put under pressure to call a number where they will eventually be duped.
He also noted that the fraud message is composed to threaten the receiver of the involvement of the police with a view to making them call the sender.
He warned Nigerians who have received any such messages to simply ignore since they are not guarantor to any loan.
“The template of the message is as follows:
“Hello sir/ma, this is to inform you that Oluwaseyi Atinuke Epoyun with phone no (07015217763) has an unresolved financial issue with our company. This person mentioned used your profile as an emergency contacts with our company. We are urging you to reach out to this person immediately to make her payment within the next 24 hours. We will be reporting this case to the Nig Police Force (NPF) and the Legal Tax Force governing loan recovery in NIG, if this person failed pay her loan back in the next 24 hours, she will face the consequence of her nonchallant attitude… Thanks 9credit Legal Team”
Another message reads “Good evening Sir/Ma, we are sorry for any incovenience this may cause. This is in regard of name: ADEAGA KEHINDE AKINWANWA phone: 07066718911 IS A LIAR has failed to pay back the loan he took from us. He is to pay 27, 322. He may have told you that he has paid but it is a lie. He kept telling lies and avioding our calls. Be aware that this individual lies a lot. We want you to help us reach him and urge him to make payment today to aviod us taking LEGAL actions against him as he is now avoiding our calls and lying to people. We need you to reach him to pay up his loan.”
On how to identify the fraud in the message, Dr Tade stated that” a message from any bank will address you by name and not Dear Sir/Ma, you should simply ignore or delete the message, or report to the police so that they can arrest the fraud syndicate. Do not panic to the extent of calling them. If you are worried inform the police. Do not allow fraudsters to play a fast one on you by mounting pressure on you.”