Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde has called on members of the public to be cautious of the modus operandi of fraudsters in order not to fall victim of their antics.
Lamorde made the appeal on Monday, March 23, 2015 while presenting “Red Alert on Scam”, a special publication of the EFCC, to the press in his office.
“Red Alert on Scam” is an initiative of Media and Publicity Unit of the Commission, conceived as an enlightenment publication to educate members of the public on the antics of fraudsters, with a view to helping them avoid falling victims of fraud.
Lamorde who expressed concern over the rate in which vulnerable members of the public especially youths fall victim of all manners of fraud said, “many of our youths, desperate to get employment have fallen into the hands of fraudsters who dupe them of the little cash at their disposal”.
According to him, “many agencies of government are targeted by syndicates of fraudsters who send out false notices of recruitment and go ahead to demand fees from unsuspecting members of the public to process their applications”.
“Another dimension to the scam is for the fraudsters to create a website, purporting to be a portal for employment processing. Such would include a phone number, which the job seeker is told to call. As soon as the job-seekers calls, the fraudster begins to make financial demands, requesting the caller to deposit money in a particular bank account”, said Lamorde.
The EFCC boss warned prospective job seekers to be wary of people who offer to get them jobs and always endeavour to verify information by contacting the agencies concerned.
While proffering solution to the menace, Lamorde called on members of the public to be cautious of giving out their bank details and jealously guard their email passwords/accounts. He also urged them to report any site making any financial demand in return for securing employment to the Commission or any law enforcement agency.
The anti-graft czar also used the opportunity to further warn politicians not to drag the Commission into political fray in their bid to garner political support ahead of the nation’s general elections.
Lamorde’s comment comes on the heels of comments by some politicians in the last few weeks, imputing political motives to the activities the Commission.
Specifically, he noted with concern the circulation of a fake letter purportedly from the office of the Chief of Staff to the President directing the Commission to investigate some political figures which, according to him, was unfounded and unfortunate.
The EFCC Chair also described as rumour, news that made the rounds over the weekend that, the Commission is planning to arrest leaders of a political party as well as a fake letter in circulation claiming that the EFCC is investigating a former education minister.
“I like to sound a note of warning here that the Commission will no longer tolerate people dropping its name to further their political ends. The EFCC is not a political body and will not allow itself to be dragged into political fray by desperate politicians”, Lamorde warned.
According to him, “the EFCC does not need the prompting of anybody to open investigation against anyone that has violated the law. But it does the nation no good when politicians seek to use the name of the Commission to further their political objectives”.
Responding to a question on politicians who have cases to answer but still get involved in the election process, the Chairman opined that our laws needed to be amended in a way that would presume suspects guilty until proven otherwise.
According to him, when this is done, suspects would have to be acquitted of the charges against them before being appointed in to positions of authorities.
The EFCC boss also cleared the air on the status of the investigation into the polymer note scam for which Charles Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, was questioned by the agency. He said Soludo was cleared as no wrong doing was established against him by the investigation.