Ifeanyi Mbadugha was pleasantly surprised when he got an email, on October 13, containing an employment letter from Mobitel Nigeria Ltd.
The 2004 graduate of Marketing was ecstatic, because the stipulated remuneration and benefits were double his present pay. However, his elation evaporated as he got to the fine print at the end of the offer letter.
“They said I was required to come (for resumption on October 16) with an affidavit certifying all the credentials that they asked me to bring for the documentation,” he said.
“Ordinarily that would not have been a problem, except that they directed me to a particular lawyer to do it. That was the first sign that something was amiss. I called the lawyer, and he told me to bring N6000.”
This served to grow his suspicion that he was the target of a scam. Nevertheless he played along, half out of a desire to see how it would end, and half believing that it could still be real. “I told the man that I could only afford N3000, and he told me to pay into his account and bring the rest on resumption day,” he said.
“So I paid, and on Saturday, I left as early as 5am, only to get to the Mobitel office in Victoria Island to see almost 50 other people with similar offer letters.”
The company personnel were as surprised as the deluge of expectant youth that raided their offices that day. Before 9am, as many as 30 of them had turned up. Their excited air of expectations turned to incredulity; and then to rage as they realised that they were victims of a massive scam.
“Three of them came from Ghana,” said Mr Mbadugha. “Some came by (air) flight. It was really terrible. The company workers were very embarrassed. I later discovered that 22 of us paid various sums into the account. The rest either were too ashamed to say, or they were smart enough not to pay beforehand.
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