Friday, October 23, 2009

Scam Messages (1)

A scam is a "dishonest scheme". It follows therefore that a scammer is a person who performs dishonest schemes.

It is not news that there are scammers every where and everyday they (scammers) come up with new "schemes". For the past 7-8 months I have been receiving emails from a group of scammers posing to be "Interswitch" officials. In Nigeria, Interswitch is the premier transaction switching platform. When the word "Interswitch" is mentioned, the first thing that will come to a lay man's mind is ATM cards.

One of such mails read was notifying their "valued customers" that their services are currently being upgraded to a more secured system. In that same mail, the reader is expected to click on a link to register all debit cards, X-change cards and ATM cards. The email further warned that only registered cards will work on the ATM machines.

At first I panicked. But when I remembered that I do not have a functional ATM card at that time, I just ignored the message by deleting it immediately. By the next day when I opened my mail, I saw 2 more of such scam messages. Are people this desperate? Na wa o! Anyway, this time around I took my time reading through the message, thinking it could be true after all. I put my cursor on the link and a very different web address was displayed on my tool bar! It was then I confirmed it was a scam mail.

Some days later, while I was discussing the issue with some friends, I discovered that some people have actually fallen prey to this bait and their accounts were "cleaned" by these fraudsters! But come to think of it, why would anyone reveal his/her PIN to anyone??!!

Although these mails go directly to my bulk mail, some still filter into my inbox. I even received one purportedly sent from the Central Bank of Nigeria. Here are some of the recent scam mails I have received:

Message 1:

Dear value customer,

You have received 1 new message waiting in your inbox folder.

click here to read

PS: To switch off email notifications of new messages, go to 'My Account' after you've logged in.


Message Depertment.


Message 2:

Dear value customer,

We regret to inform you that access to your ATM CARD "POWERED BY INTERSWITCH"

has been temporarily limited.

To restore your account please click the link below and provide us with the required information:

click here to restore your account

PS: Your account will be restore in the next 48hrs.


Online Services.


Message 3:

Verify Your ATM Account Statement Now..
Mon, October 19, 2009 7:09:20 AM
From: Central Bank Of Nigeria

Dear ATM Card User,

This is to hereby notify you of the recent Central Bank of Nigeria Directive to all banks to switch to the new and secured chip ATM cards.

With this directive,all old ATM cards shall be inactivated. With the new Cards,there shall be no more transaction charges when you use your ATM cards and it is more secured.go to the website below to register for your new card;

You are getting this mail because you have not updated.


Mr.Tony Ede
Assistant Director,
Office Address:Tinubu Square,Lagos
Postal Address:P.M.B. 12194,Lagos.
Fax: +234(1)882 617
So I guess since I did not "update", by clicking the link, the messages will not stop. The most recent is this one:

Please note that Your Interswitch ATM Card is about to expire
Please note that Your Interswitch ATM Card is about to expire.
In order for it to remain active, please Use the button below to
Activate and get Unlimited Access on your ATM Card.
click here to re-activate your account

PS: Your account will be re-activate in the next 48hrs.

Notice that the messages are laced with gramatical errors. This show how "literate" the scammers are Also, when I put my cursor on the links, different web addresses are displayed. Some of the links have the following addresses:

""; ""; "".

Now, note that the above addresses have no link to the real interswitch web address which is "".

Interestingly, Interswitch has denied ever sending any of such messages. The caveat is found on the real interswitch website.

Some banks have also published and circulated several warnings, advising that no one should disclose his/her PIN to anyone. For instance, I received a mail that read thus:

Dear Friends,

We have been alerted to a fraudulent email purporting to originate from Central Bank of Nigeria and advising customers to log on to the following website to download individual forms that must be completed to upgrade their ATM cards to the new ATM machine code including your mobile number and email address where verification codes will be sent.

Please note: On no account should you visit any website in order to upgrade your ATM card based on an email purporting to either represent Interswitch, the bank or Central Bank of Nigeria . Such an act would immediately compromise your ATM card and render your account vulnerable to fraudulent withdrawals.

The claim that failure to upgrade your ATM card will render the card unusable is totally untrue and is merely a way of luring you to divulge your ATM card details.

If you have already responded to such fraudulent email, immediately notify your relationship manager or call CIC on (01 – 2800822, 01-2644754- 59, 08035606000, & 08025606000) to disable your card to prevent fraudulent withdrawals from your accounts until such a time that you can safely change your PIN.

Forwarding this alert to friends and family members would also help inform them and combat this fraud.

Thank you.

IT Risk Management

I can not asertain the authenticity of the telephone numbers, since I have not had cause to call them. However, my advise to all is this: DO NOT DISCLOSE YOUR PIN TO ANYONE!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Apapa-Oshodi Express Way again!


When will the Federal Government do something about the bad roads in Lagos State? This thing is getting very embarrassing! Haba!

I spent four unproductive hours on the Apapa-Oshodi Express Way this morning. The reason? It rained and because of the bad state of the roads, there was so much flood on the road. I once called it river trinity, but I think I should rename it to "Apapa-Oshodi Ocean". The flooded road made it very difficult to drive smoothly.

In the process of driving carefully, the person driving this vehicle, found himself/herself in this condition

Pedestrians had to wade through the flood as well

After driving wading through the first part of the flood, this is what I saw.

The trailer in the above picture rammed into a pedestrian bridge and then a section of the bridge collapsed. As a result, the traffic was terrible.
These are the pictures from the second half.

I am looking forward to the day it will rain and the roads in Lagos will be flood free.

Related Links

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Nation at 49

Yesterday, 1 October 2009 was the 49th independence annivarsary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a Nation. Happy INDEPENDENCE ANNIVESARY my dear Country.

My wish for this great Nation is to keep growing strong. I believe that Nigeria will survive all odds.

There so may issues I would have liked to write about, such as the eratic power supply, bad roads, miliants in the Niger Delta, strike by teachers and lecturers, strike by medical workers etc. Of all these, the one that tops my list is the unrest in the Niger Delta. The entire militancy episode had been a huge bone in the neck of all well-meaning Nigerians. For years, I have avoided visiting that part of the country. This is strange particularly for someone from that part of the country.

During the just concluded sittings of the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission in Rivers State, so many "things" were brought to the open. I was among the group of Nigerians, particularly the Niger Delta people who hoped that the findings of the Commission will bring lasting peace to the Niger Delta. Wishful thinking.

On Thursday, 25 June 2009, the Federal Government proclaimed amnesty for the Niger Delta militants. Simply put, amnesty is a pardon for government offenders. The condition attached to this was that the militants would "willingly" give up possession of all illegal arms in their possession. Not so long after the amnesty programe began, some "militants" surrendered their arms and then they were rehabilitated. They even had the opportunity to get some pocket money! Anyway, I have been watching the whole process keenly. When the word militant is mentioned their are some names/groups that pop up in my head. Names like Ateke Tom, Tompolo, Boyloaf and groups like MEND. So far, Boyloaf laid down his arms some weeks ago and yesterday, Ateke Tom laid down his arms.

All I am praying for right now is for a lasting peace in the Niger Delta. I am also praying that the education sector would get the needed attention it deserves.

Happy Independence Celebration!
Long Live Nigeria!
Long Live my fatherland!

It is well with NIGERIA in Jesus name.
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