Akwa Ibom State Government has warned of the activities of suspected fraudsters and con-artists that have allegedly used social media to dupe unsuspecting members of the public.
Akwa Ibom State says the suspected fraudsters have used social media platforms like Facebook to dupe people by using the names and particulars of some high profile Akwa Ibom State Government officials.
Ekerete Udoh, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media/Chief Press Secretary, says in a statement that “the modus –operandi of these fraudsters is to demand for the payment of a certain amount of money as a condition for accessing certain government programmes.”
Akwa Ibom warns that members of the public should be wary of such fraudsters, noting that the government does not demand any payment to provide services.
“We wish to state unequivocally here that government does not demand payment of money as a condition for providing service to our people, and therefore, would never encourage anyone, an agency or commission to engage in such unethical and illegal act,” according to Udoh.
According to him, “members of the public are hereby advised to be wary of the antics and activities of these fraudsters and not fall prey to their machinations. In the meantime, law enforcement agencies are on their trail and they will soon be brought to justice.”
Last week, Technology Times published a report on the arrest of one Izuagie Mohammed by security operatives, suspected to be one of the scammers using social media accounts to parade themselves as the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF).
The suspect had been using a bogus Facebook account where he posed as the Accountant-General of Nigeria, Mr. Ahmed Idris, and had already defrauded some unwary members of the public, by promising to help them facilitate access to the Central Bank Empowerment Loans, among other dubious claims.
These cases have now emphasized the need for Nigerians to be very careful when using the social media in order not to fall victims of cyber criminals, especially on Facebook.
If Government officials are impersonated through social media, or even hacking Facebook accounts of government agencies to get details of confidential information and for fraudulent activities, this means the cybercriminals can go to any length to defraud innocent Facebook users.
Concerned authorities should therefore stand up against this to bring these criminals to justice. Also, everyone must take precautions when using social media, taking necessary steps in order to safeguard Facebook account from scammers.