So I’ve gotten more than my fair share of scam emails in this lifetime. You know how they go, from the ones where someone died in a plane crash and left funds in a ‘hidden’ account, to the ones where mysteriously you’re the winner of a hundred million dollars.
Most times I say I’ll write them back but I get scared that in replying my email account could be hacked, I’d be robbed, etc. so far I haven’t written anyone back. Even the girl who wrote me to say she was in love with me, her parents just died leaving her how many million pounds and she wanted to share with me. She wanted me to send her my account details so she would send me my share (because of the love she has for me). It’s amazing, how silly do these people think we are?
Anyways, so I got a text message yesterday morning at 11.29am that read “congratulations! You have N2million in our MTN Y’ello Bounty Promo for recharging more than N200. Call 0813095561 for claims now. Your bounty No. is 284.”
I laughed, long and hard. To start with, I’m not aware of any promo MTN is doing. Even if by the slimmest stroke of fate I won N2million just for recharging my phone with N200, MTN would have called me, not told me to call a regular number. The 0803 sim card was probably bought that day; if they had sent a text with 0803 it would have been a little less dodgy because it would have felt old. There’s been 0803, 0806, 0706, 0703, before the 081 series.
Anyways, so I was in a good mood and I had some extra minutes so I called. The conversation is reproduced below
MTN ‘REP’: hello good morning, thank you for calling MTN Nigeria.
Me: *chuckles*. Ok so I’m calling about the 2 million naira I won.
MTN ‘REP’: of course. What is your name please?
Me: Chioma Chidindu
MTN ‘REP’: ok. Would you call us back in two minutes so we can cross check your name from our records?
I hung up, laughed a little more, and started tweeting about the whole thing. I gave them 10 minutes just to see if ‘MTN’ would be so eager to give me my money they would ring me or something. For where! Of course they didn’t. I did.
Me: hello! You said to ring back?
MTN ‘REP’: of course! I’m happy to say your name checks out, it is the same as is listed in our records. Congratulations again!
Me: what the hell! (In my mind of course, I’ve got my sights on 2 million naira baby)!
MTN ‘REP’: before we can direct you to the location where you’ll claim your money, we have a few security questions to ask you; just to further confirm you are who you say you are.
Me: sure. Shoot.
MTN ‘REP’: is your sin registered?
Me: yes *chuckle chuckle*
MTN ‘REP’: where did you register it?
Me: Gwagwalada *so much for ‘security’ questions*
MTN ‘REP’: that’s in Abuja right?
*I had a sarcastic answer on the tip of my tongue but then I heard someone in the background answer him. And since I’m already spending the 2million in my mind………smh*
MTN ‘REP’: now that you’ve satisfactorily answered all our questions, may I on behalf of MTN Nigeria congratulate you again on your win. Due to the prevalence of fraudulent activities we have some checks in place to protect you and your prize. We would advise that you do not tell anyone about this prize, so you do not become a target for fraudsters or bad people. We would also…
Me: sorry to butt in, but if you’re going to put it on TV et al wouldn’t that be telling even more people than you are telling me to keep this great news from?
MTN ‘REP’: The announcement on television will be made 6 weeks after the monies have been disbursed to all the winners to enable secure it appropriately.
Me: oh ok. So back to how I would get this money?
MTN ‘REP’: Yes, so we’ll need you to purchase three MTN recharge vouchers worth N4, 500.
Me: Why can’t you just take it from the N2million you want to give me?
MTN ‘REP’: because that in itself is a security check. So, you will recharge your phone with the vouchers but in a different way. Type *555*your number* the voucher numbers# for all the vouchers; once you have done that you will receive a text message from us with the address where you will securely go to pick up your money. Please note that due to the sensitivity of your prize you must recharge your phone within the next 30 minutes.
Me: that’s fine.
MTN ‘REP’: how soon can you recharge your phone?
Me: in an hour, I don’t have that kind of money on me here.
MTN ‘REP’: ok. Please don’t let it exceed 40 minutes, all these things are for security purposes.
Na wa! Did I recharge my phone? No. Did I call back? Nope, I had had enough. Was I any wiser? Errrr, not really, I already knew how the call would end, after speaking with a friend I learnt that when people recharge their phones using this ‘procedure’ I was given, the ‘MTN Reps’ will draw the money.
According to MTN, promos will be announced in all the national dailies and winners will be notified both in the papers and on television. Text messages asking you to call any number are from frauds and should be ignored, or reported to MTN.
If you get bored, or you just want to get a laugh, feel free to call Mr. Williams (the MTN representative). I’ll be busy ‘mourning’ the loss of my 2 million naira, smh!