5 Nigerians nabbed… for using text messages to defraud

Suspects arrested for SMS fraud from right Chidebere Uka,Chibuzor Anadumnanka,Emmanuel Uka and Chukwaka Okide. Photo Anita NyarkoFive Nigerians have been arrested by the police, for alleged fraud in Short Message Service (SMS) in Accra.

They are Chukwuka Okide, 25, footballer, Chidebere Uka, 28, businessman, Ojiefo Jude, 25, Emmanuel Uka, 39, and Chibuzor Anadumanaka, 35, all traders.

They sent SMS messages congratulating their victims for winning bonanzas through promotions.

They then asked them to call a number to claim their prizes and through that succeeded in collecting credits and mobile money transfers from subscribers in areas such as Kasoa, the Buduburam Camp and its environs.

At least, 12,000 people are said to have fallen victim through the text messaging, using the MTN network.

Items retrieved from the suspects were mobile phones, and several Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.

The Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Christian Tetteh Yohuno, at a news conference in Accra, said MTN Ghana, reported to the police that for some time now, they had been receiving complaints from subscribers that a group of fraudsters had been sending text messages that they have won cash prizes ranging from GH¢5,000 to GH¢45,000.

He said based on an intelligence, the suspects were arrested.

He said in 2014, the MTN recorded 10,600 such cases and from the beginning of this year to date the network company has recorded 1,400. out of which 50 per cent of the receipts fell under scam.

DCOP Yohuno cautioned the public to be wary of such people, saying a lot of people have been swindled under this type of falsehood and advised that, once you suspect a message on your phone, delete it immediately, and do not entertain them further”.

Mrs.Cynthia Lumor, the Corporate Services Executive of MTN, commended the police for the arrest of the suspects.

She said the company does not charge money before prizes are redeemed when there is a promotion, adding that valid promotions could only be confirmed from any MTN customer service centre.

By Anita Nyarko

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