Friday, June 19, 2009


Traffic snarls have become the bane of most cities in Nigeria, no hanks to bad roads and inadequate road networks. That robbers take advantage of traffic hold-ups on the highway in various cities across Nigeria to operate their nefarious business is not news. What may be news is their ever changing modus operandi.

There have been reports of hawkers of snacks and other wares carrying cartons, hiding guns and other dangerous weapons under their wares and using them when an opportunity presents itself, to hold-up unsuspecting drivers and passengers and dispossessing them of cash and other valuables.

On a particular day, at the Maryland Flyover in Lagos, Nigeria where many street hawkers sell their wares on the ever-present traffic hold-up on the St. Agnes end and sometimes opposite, some policemen acting on a tip-off presented themselves as hawkers and in the course of the day made several arrests of robbers who have been operating under the guise of hawking, even so close to a permanent police check-point less that 10 meters away.

I have decided here to publish excerpts from an article in the Daily Independent of Thursday May 7, 2009 titled, “Security Tips” to further expose the antics of such criminals. Read on. “Armed robbers mostly in their youth of ages ranging from 17 years to 24 years have been noticed to be the culprits. In the most recent cases, five different techniques have been adopted.

They ride in Okada and are mostly three in number or in a convoy of two motorbikes carrying one or two persons on each motorbike. They usually target their victims and follow them closely while the person is heading home both during the day and at night, sometimes to the office.

On the road while driving, they follow their target closely knowing pretty well that he/she might stop to buy some things while the traffic is slow or change the lane. In that case they will block their victim and one of them will flash a fake identity card claiming to be a security agent and once he gains entrance into your car he points his pistol at you and commands you to drive him straight to your house or remote hidden unknown hotel under gun point, then either rob or ask for a ransom, (it could be worse if wife or female teenager are at home).

They also pretend to be hawkers of recharge cards on the road. They carry used and unused recharge cards and an unsuspecting person who winds down car glasses to make a purchase especially at night falls victim to them and they will attack the person and dispossess him/her of his/her valuables and if the person is unlucky they might injure him/her”.

The author of that article also suggested some precautionary measures to be taken as follows:

“Be vigilant at all times while driving and ensure that your doors are firmly locked while you are inside”.

“Buy your recharge cards while you are in the office or at home and avoid buying things in traffic, it has become very costly to do that”.

Please put these tips into practice, they may just prevent and unfavorable situation.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Churches And Men Of God: Beware of Web Fraudsters

Who says men of God or churches are immune from the fraudsters on the web! I have seen that they are not, a few days ago when I got a message from one Mrs. Naomi Solomon whom I have never had any communication with. ‘She’ sent the mail below to my Gmail box. I have not even given this mail address to any individual except to those I deal with businesswise on the internet and ‘she’ happens to be none of them. The unedited letter, which was unsolicited looked every way a scam letter. Read on and see for yourself.

From Mrs Naomi Solomon

BP [38 Rue Des Martyrs Cocody
Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire


I am the above named person from Kuwait . I am married to Mr. Anthony Solomon , who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2004. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.

Before his death we were both born again Christian. since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2. 5 Million (Two Million and Five Hundred thousand U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in suspense account.

Presently, the fund is still with the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that i have seriouly sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained.

The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don’t want my husband’s efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don’t want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence i know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the Lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.

I don’t need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband’s relatives is around me always I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank here in Abidjan . I want you and the church to always pray for me because the Lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.

Contact me through my e-mail address for more information’s, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply. Remain blessed in the Lord.

Yours in Christ,
Mrs Naomi Solomon.

My advice to churches and men of God: Do not look for cheap money for God’s work or to better your lot. You may end up giving money for the gospel to those who are serving the devil’s purpose.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Beware of The "Okada" Motorcycle Thieves

Motorcycle which has become very popular means of road transportation in all cities in Nigeria goes by various names across the country. In Lagos it is called “Okada” or “Bike”. As a means of transportation, it easily maneuvers into places that some cars and buses can hardly reach thus making it a must ride to people who live deep inside the streets when they leave home early in the morning to get to their bus stops or late at night when returning home. This important function besides, some of the riders have turned these bikes to easy escape vehicles when on criminal escapades. They are variously used to rob, kidnap, snatch bags and so on. This has lead to various state governments banning their operations to a time-band daily. This notwithstanding, they have continued to be used as tools of crimes.

Although I am aware of the use of motorcycles for crimes of various kinds, I little envisaged that I would be a victim in a most humiliating manner. It was a Friday. On closing from the days work, I was invited by a senior friend to have a drink with him at Oregun in Lagos. I joined him at about 8pm. After about two and half hours, I decided to take my leave since I did not go with my car. On getting to Ojota on my way home, I discovered I wasn’t with a pack I took along to the spot where we had drinks. I decided to take a bike back to the place. When I disembarked I gave a 1000 naira note to the rider since I had no change with me. I had hardly given him the money when he zoomed off. I watched until the tail light of his motorcycle disappeared.

Though I was able to recover the pack from a Good Samaritan who picked it up, I went home very dejected that I could be so easily dispossessed of my money. Something told me that the rider must be a robber or a hardened criminal who may just be looking for an opportunity to operate when I fell into his hands. He is likely to be carrying a weapon too. The lessons I learnt which I want readers to apply is that if you would collect change from an “Okadaman” he has to switch off his engine before you give him money or get some change handy so you do not expose the fact that you have some good money with you if our are to board a bike at any time, particularly at night. If all I had was the 1000 naira at that time of day, I would have been in a more precarious situation trying to get home that night. Do not be a victim.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don't Be An Accomplice To Criminals

So many people have become accomplices to crimes they hardly had a faintest idea about their design, planning and execution by their carelessness, loquaciousness and stupidity.

At a seminar for bank Chief Security Officers held at the University of Lagos, Nigeria in which I was involved as a facilitator, one of the attendees told us a story of how account holders of a particular bank had their deposits depleted through criminal activities. According to the bank security chief, one Office Assistant with the bank had been a regular beneficiary of beer, pepper soup and other delicacies at a drinking joint he visits regularly, from people he hardly knew before then. This Office Assistant, we were told, got his bill paid one day by these strangers, some young men who told him they just liked his person. Over time, they became friends and they kept on paying his bills for drinks and chops. In the course of time, when the Office Assistant told them he worked in a bank they pretended they never knew where he worked. When the “friends” felt they had gained his confidence, they made a seemingly harmless request, for the Office Assistant to do them a favor. He is to just plug a Flash Drive they would give to him into any computer used in his bank before resumption of work and to unplug it at the end of the day and return to them. He did as they requested. With the information copied into the flash drive, the criminals gained access to several accounts of depositors with the bank and withdrew money running into millions or Naira.

While in this case the Office Assistant may be aware of the implication of his action but blinded by the benefits he had been getting from his “friends” and the expected rewards, there are cases where people help criminals with information without knowing. There are several instances of people who talk about their places of work, how rich their bosses are, the lifestyle of their bosses, when salaries are paid in their companies, the arrival of certain people they know from abroad, some projects those close to them are engaged in and some issues they consider harmless but which criminals further probe to get more information to strike. Sometimes, all the person was trying to do was to show off how well his/her organization is doing or how connected he/she is to powerful people, not knowing that somebody with a criminal mind would use that information to advantage.

Beware from whom you accept gifts. Haven’t you heard that there is no free lunch? Also, beware of what you say in public places or to close associates about your organization or about even those you know who are doing well. A criminal may just be around to pick that information and strike. That makes you an accomplice to the crime!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Be Careful What You Are Buying!

In Lagos, people hardly have the spare time for planned shopping. Impulsive buying is the order of the day. A lot of people shop as they transmute or go from one place to the other. Traffic snarl which is a hallmark of the city has provided opportunities for street traders to sell all kinds of wares along major roads.

Bus stops also boast of mobile shops that appear and disappear at some times of the day. The mobile markets offer shoppers-on-the-move the opportunity to do their shopping as they get down or board vehicles to their destinations. Merchandise they traded on, vary widely – foodstuff, fast foods, clothes, shoes, electronics, mobile phones, books, wrist watches etc.

In these highly dispersed markets are traders who take advantage of the mobility of the markets to sell dysfunctional, vandalized and fake products to hapless, impatient shoppers. Their modus involve drawing attention of traders with sweet sounding messages, bells and so on. Once they have attracted the attention of passersby, a crowd of shoppers would begin to gather, swelling the ranks, some buying and others just window shopping.

The products that such traders sell are those that cannot be tested or their workability easily ascertained immediately. Even when they are tested, they still play pranks on their victims. Most times, those who bought can only discover that they are not functioning until they get to where they can be tested, which is usually their homes, like electronics and phones.

A friend once bought a phone along one of such markets at the very busy “Ikeja Under Bridge” in Lagos, very happy that she had made a good buy going by the price and the cleanliness of the phone, a Nokia model, which was tested and working. When she got home she tried to charge it but discovered nothing was happening. On opening the cover she found that the inside components of the phone have been replaced with “fufu”, ready to eat cassava flour, a local delicacy. The next day, she got to where she bought it and the seller and his shop had moved to an unknown destination, probably to fool some other people and get their hard earned money. It was obvious that while handing over the phone to my friend he swapped the good one with the “fufu’ phone.

Another friend on his way home one evening came upon a gathering of shoppers around a trader selling electronic torchlights. People were buying these torchlights in a beautiful pack as if they would run out of circulation. My friend also bought and on getting home put it on charging, and the charging light came on. He charged for six hours as recommended in the manual. When he put it on thereafter as there was power failure, the light did not come on but when power was restored and he plugged it, he discovered that the light came up, meaning it only works when there is electricity supply. It means that the purpose of buying it which is to use it when there is power outage was defeated. Advice line: Be sure of the workability of what you are buying before you part with your money or ensure that the product you paid for is not swapped when it is being handed to you if you do not want to make some dubious trader richer with your hard earned money.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another Scam Case

Another case that followed in less than one week after, this time through Meelovia, was that of a so called ‘23 year old’ ‘Miss Jenifer Deng from Sudan living in a refugee camp in Gambia’ who also asked to be my friend after going through my profile. She also requested I send her a mail through her private email address.

So I did, telling her she sounded like a very friendly person and I promised to get across to her frequently

Then a preamble to the scam mail came. She wrote unedited;

Hello dear,

How are you? thank you for your response to the mail I sent you. and I am highly satisfied with it. How are you now? Mine, well i thank God for keeping me till this moment.

My name is Miss Jenifer Seaman Deng, 23 yr old girl from Darfur Region of Sudan and right now i am residing in the refugee camp here in Dakar Senegal as a result of the the killing of my family by the rebels last year, please do not be discourage for hearing this.

My late father Engr.Seaman Deng, was the Chairman, Gruv-Melton Oil and Gas Company a private extracting oil firm in Durfur. The brutal killing of my mother and my father, one kid sister and kid brother took place one early morning by the rebels as a result of the civil war that is going on until now in Sudan. It is only me that is alive now and I managed to make my way to the West African state called Senegal where i am leaving now in a refugee camp here in Oakam North, 12 km away from the capital city of Dakar Senegal.

I would like to know more about you. Your likes and dislikes,your hobbies and what you are doing presently. I will tell you more about myself in my next mail. Attached here are some of my photos for you,though I am not all that photogenic.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Yours dearly,

I replied her mail sympathizing with ‘her’ on the death of members of your family. I told her my hobbies and also how I hate liars, mediocres, lazy and dirty people but love intelligent, truthful, hardworking and neat people. To drive home the point, I informed ‘her’ that I am presently a security consultant and a network marketer.

I related to her the story of someone whom I met in Perfspot who claimed to be a widow and presented a story to me on some lost money which she wants me to help get and blah blah blah. Besides, I told ‘her’ that as a security consultant I have done some studies in scams of various kinds so I knew that person was a scammer. All these were to indirectly dissuade ‘her’ should ‘she’ also be thinking of trying to perform such fraudulent acts.

It seemed she was so determined to continue as at last the real mail unveiling her reasons for the friendship came unedited as follows.

Hello my love,

I was very happy when I received your mail. Like I told you in my last mail that I am staying in a refugee camp. This Refugee Camp is headed by a Reverend Father James Omeni whom i used his office computer to send you this email and i only enter his office when he is less busy.

This place is just like one staying in the prison and I hope by Gods grace, with your help i will come out of this place soon. I do not have any relatives; whom i could go to now.The only person That i have here on earth is; Rev father James,who is the Reverend Minister in charge of the church in this camp; owned by United Nations. The pastors e-mail address is ( This is his telephone No. 00221 767-585-535. You can as well reach me through his telephone number.

As a refugee here I don't have any right or privilege to any thing be it money or whatever because it is against the law of this country. I want to go back to my studies because I only attended my first year before the tragic incident that lead to my being in this situation now took place.

Meanwhile,I have my late father's Certificate of Deposit and death certificate here with me which I will send to you latter,because when he was alive he deposited some amount of money with CHASE FINACIAL BANK in United Kingdom; which he used my name as the next of kin,the amount in question is $6.500.000.00(Six Million, Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars). Though my father owned so many investments outside Africa which I do not know the companies or the bank where he kept his money but thank God that he deposited this money in my name otherwise I would have been left with nothing.
Please I will like you to forward to me those information’s bellow:


So I will like you to help me transfer this money to your bank account and from it I can travel to meet you and live there. I kept this secret to people in the camp here, the only person that knows about this money is the Reverend because he is like a father to me.

So in the light of above i will like you to keep it to yourself and don't tell it to anyone for I am afraid of loosing my life and the money if people gets to know about it. Remember I am giving you all these information due to the trust I deposed on you. I like honest, understanding and God fearing people,truthful and a man of vision,and hardworking.

I will give you full details of my late father's Deposit account information and the Bank contact information for you to contact them on my behalf as soon as i receive your response.
Have a nice day and think about me.
Awaiting to hear from you soonest.
Yours lovely

I followed up thus:

Hi love, I told you I'm a security professional so I'm surprised that you could attempt to play a cheap scam with me. Well sweetie, I love those beautiful photos. Send me more if you still have them as compensation for wasting my time. How I wish I'd meet the real owner of these pix, I would have given anything to have her. Bye love. Ogaga

When I told a friend this story he said it is very common now for some guys to send pictures of very beautiful girls who seek friendship through the net and thereafter launch a scam attack on their victims. I have attached here photos of “Jenifer” sent by the fraudster, and boy isn’t she beautiful! Be warned! Fraudsters are all over the internet. Be careful not to be a prey!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Scam On The Broad Internet Street

The internet can be likened to a very broad street or highway through which millions of people pass daily. That internet and internet-related frauds are commonplace is not in contention but when it gets into the domain of social networks it would be worthwhile drawing attention to practical cases to save very gullible and get-rich-quick social networkers and other internet users from getting the bite. Let me use my personal experience to illustrate what I am trying to get across.

I had barely signed up with Perfspot when one ‘Mrs. Santos Rebecca Seyes’ from ‘Cebu in Philipines’ requested to be my friend. Once I accepted ‘her’ request ‘she’ indicated I should get to ‘her’ through ‘her’ private email address as ‘she’ was impressed with my profile.

I replied ‘her’ mail thanking ‘her’ for your interest in my profile and that I am looking forward to more communication.

Next, she came out with what I consider to be her reason for seeking my friendship as in the mail below. She wrote unedited;


Of course I know this message will come to you as a surprise, but I want you to consider yourself lucky and see it as favour from Father Almighty to be the chosen one to manage this project, with no doubt this will be for our mutual benefit as soon as possible. I would like to take this great opportunity to introduce myself properly. I am Ma. Santos Rebecca Reyes from the Philippines, widow of the late former AFP Chief of Staff who died on 29 June 2007, before the present Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander B.Yano of the

I inherited a total of $18.4 million U.S. dollars from my late husband, the money was concealed in a metal druk box and was deposited with a security and finance company in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivory, that was because I needed a maximum security/safety of my consignment and no body or government organization can trace the where about of the money until I am ready and prepare to claim it. but the security company does not know the actual content of the box, because it was filled under a secret arrangement of family valuables.

My main purpose of sending you this e-mail is because of the way i found you and perhaps trustworthy to give you this priority of shipping the box of money to any address that you think is very secure and save in your country for onward deposit into your account for the purpose of future investment. Your percentage of which we shall chat on soon. As soon as i hear from you, in my next email i will send you my photo, guide lines and also the Authorization document to contact the company which is the deposit document that was issued from the company on the very day the box was deposited with a secret code for safety. I give thanks immensely for your co-operation as I look forward to hear from you soon.

All the best,
Santos Rebecca.

I sent her the following mail:

Ain't I lucky! Look Ma Santos, in case you don't know, I'm a security officer who's done a lot of studies on scams. The one you are operating is called LOCAL even by scammers. Do you have to join Perfspot for scams? Too bad! Well, try your luck somewhere, you may be lucky with some stupid, greedy guys. Bye love.

The next time I visited Perspot ‘she’ had been bared from the network. One musician in Nigeria sang, “Mugu, (fool) don pay (has paid), shout halleluyah, oo oo oo oo ooh!” Don’t be a “mugu”, be wise.