Fraud – internet/electronic fraud especially – is on the rise and that is only because many of us fall prey every day. Inspired by a recent experience, I shall in this post, spill the secret tips of how to not be – or be, depending on your birthstone – a fraud’s star.

Who is a fraud’s star? You don’t know?!!



Well, the story – which is totally unfounded by the way – goes that Casanova at the dawn of his philandering career lived in a mud house. A very old, broken down, mud house with the ever-dirty raffia sweep posing sentry just outside the door, beside the up-turned clay pot with broken rims and…you get the picture. The legend goes that a French princess from Serbia was on a voyage through Italy and spied Casanova’s hut from the window of her cabin. This princess had known sparkles, colors and light all her life, so she was completely enamored by the drabness of the man’s hut. So drawn was she that she had to see more, so she had her vessel parked beneath a tangelo grove and went on shore.

Casanova met her at the door. The rest of the story is a haze between that meeting and her eventual departure but it was said that before she left, she told Casanova to ask her for anything he desired and she would give it. He asked for a jewel to remember her by and she gave him her neck pendant.

After she left, he melted the golden pendant and formed it into the shape of a small star which he hung from a beam in his roof. And it became a way for him. At the closure of every conquest, Casanova took a piece of jewelry from the broken-hearted dame he was leaving behind – they always offered more but his calling was obviously not for pecuniary gains. He then melted the jewelry and formed it into a small star which he hung from his roof. Nobody knows how many conquests Casanova had in his lifetime but suffice it to say that years later, the ailing Casanova breathed his last beneath hundreds of shiny stars.

To this very day, that mud hut stands beside the tangelo tree on the southern bank of the Le Riviere Faux Pas in Venice, and Casanova-wannabes visit it to hang up the stars of their conquests. THE END.

Now you know what a fraud’s star is; if you still don’t, you need jizeees!

On to the secret tips then. These tips on how to not find yourself hanging from the roof beam of some fraudster’s mud hut are five in number but are meaningless if you do not remember to be wary of greed. Fraud preys on the intrinsic greed in every man and only when this is acknowledged, can the tips in this post come in handy.

What I received this morning was a text message which read:

“Your Line Have =N=30,000 Airtime with NCC. Just Because Your Sim is Register. To Load It Now. Logon To WWW.DATANCC.COM Your Code is 3232 You Have 2hrs Left”

Sender was ‘NCC-CARD’.

I bet you’re laughing now and thinking, “oh, who would fall for that?” and my answer would be you. Us. I can bet some of my hanging stars that had such a message popped into your phone prior to this blog post, your brain would have auto-transformed it so that to your eyes, it would have read:

“Congratulations!! Your line has won =N=30,000 airtime with NCC. To load it now, kindly log on to WWW.DATANCC.COME with the code number 3232”

But thank God for this post 🙂 , we now know to remember to not be greedy. Having remembered that, the first tip comes in

Tip #1. Nothing good in life is free – in real life at least.

Read it again, N.O.T.H.I.N.G. If it appears to be free, you have either paid for it, are paying for it, or will pay for it. Realizing and accepting this for what it is – fact – permits your brain to wander onto the next tip.

Tip #2: Locate the catch. Or the red flag.

Be careful not to confuse a red flag with a catch. In matters like this, there is always a catch. Always. Whether it’s genuine or fake – especially when it is genuine – there is a catch. Red flags however, only accompany the fakes.

The first thing you should do is search for the catch which in this case (had this been genuine) might have been a condition or a requirement of some sort which is the price for the ‘free’ gift. Next – and especially if you couldn’t find a catch – search out the red flag. The red flagS in my case were namely, the sender ID: NCC-CARD. No offense but who?

Another was the time restraint. “You Have 2hrs left” sounds more to me like, “We don’t want you taking any time to think about this, because then you’d find us out”. That and a third red flag prelude the next tip.

Tip #3: Think about it. No, really, THINK.

First, who or what does this NCC stand for?

Next, assume that it stands for Nigerian Communications Commission. If you were the manager for the PR or Sales or Free Airtime Distribution department at the commission, why would you want to reward subscribers for registering their sim cards? There could be some business sense in it for telecommunication companies but for you as the NCC, what?

Then, assume there is indeed some – however minuscule – business sense in running such a promo. How would you do it? How would you spread the information, first to the public and then to the winners? Of course, the commission wants to get maximum credit – pun fully intended – for the give-away so how would you make that happen?

I would love to read your answers as I’m sure will all be super creative. The one which you just might take for granted – because it shouldn’t be optional of course – in answering, would be assigning the task of informing winners to somebody with a above average grasp of the language used in communication. That is absolutely gbagaun-ist but I bet you agree.

Tip #4: Ask somebody.

It could be a friend who works in a related industry (in my case, the telecommunications industry), family, or good ol’ Google. Of course you will have yourself alone to blame if you go asking an ex whose heart you broke into pieces scattered all over Yaba cemetery. In asking, you will need to keep Tip #3 in mind so you don’t end up dangling as a star still, only from the roof of a different fraudster. In my case, I shared the text message – minus the four-digit code – with friends. NOBODY had heard of any such thing. If nobody you know, including Mr. Google, knows about it, and they know nobody who knows anything about it, chances are someone’s waiting to melt and form you into a star.

Tip #5: Test the water. With a long cane!

For those of us who are who are border-line optimistic or honestly, idealistic; whose minds will continue to resonate with the questions “So what?” and “What if I am the first?”; this last tip is for you. You still like to imagine that there is a chance it is genuine, right? Good, so let’s test it out. But while doing that, you want to keep yourself as insured as possible.

How? Still using my case as reference, here is an answer from my experienced friend in the telecomm industry: “Log into the site, should they require any details of yours besides your name and number (even the name is asking too much) get off”

Merely logging in was a risk; testing the water is a risk, even if you’re doing so with a long cane. Be aware of the magnitude of the risk you’re taking should you decide to press up to this point, and insure it as much as you can.

This is what happened after I took the risk…


I hope you noticed even more red flags. Still testing, I entered the pin:

3-2-3-2. ENTER



And I burst out laughing. I sent a reply too…


You can see it did not deliver; I must have hurt her feelings.

Do you have more tips to add or opinions on the tips above? We can’t wait to read them in the comments.


Mention me @ojukwu_martin on twitter

P.S. If you’re an EFCC official and you rushed onto this here page hoping to find a ‘big catch’, how disappointed you must be now tickles me black breaks my heart. The good news however is that I you read to the end so hopefully, you learnt a thing or two about how to catch the real fraudsters. Don’t forget to pass on my blog address to the Chief; we are on the same team after all. Besides, this blog could sure use some celebrity hits. Cheers 😉

20 replies added

  1. chomzy July 17, 2014 Reply

    Casanova?? Le Riviere Faux Pas?? U r one heck of a story teller,Marty. Lolzzz. Nice tips u gave dia,though….and its a very good thing u said cos yes! Greed is always d cheese in d trap for d mice.

    • Chisom July 17, 2014 Reply

      Exactly…lol. Thank u, dear

  2. marcel July 17, 2014 Reply

    Martin, u no go kill me with laff. Celebrity hit ekwa. Tone down ur greed n u stand a better chance of not being defrauded

    • Chisom July 17, 2014 Reply

      Heheheh…touché. Ka m gbara my own ogwu ñuo mehnnn

  3. Walt Shakes July 18, 2014 Reply

    I keep saying, if you’re going to try to swindle your fellow wiseass, enduring, suspicious-by-nature, eye-don-open-come-tear-360-degrees Nigerian (which you should expect is basically every Nigerian), don’t make your hustle stupid! I mean, honestly! This scam tho. What are we, whites?

  4. Tobe July 18, 2014 Reply

    Nawa o…i no go even try risk any damn thing. DELECT message sharperly!

    • Chisom July 18, 2014 Reply

      Nawa oh, Tobe…so ichoro taati taaaasand (30,000) naira credit???

      • Tobe July 18, 2014 Reply

        Hahahahaha… M digodu anya ukwu…orubeghi na nke ahu. Guy no fit guy guyoyo! Dem plenti around here

      • Chisom July 18, 2014 Reply

        They can’t fit to guy nwa Osha nah…na gini mere?!!

  5. Yemie July 18, 2014 Reply

    Oh Smithers! I really did enjoy this piece! The folklore, the tips and your infamous undelivered message to the ‘bumboclaats’! Moreso, coining up the phrase ‘Fraud’s star’s’ very ingenious! Wowzers! LOOL

    I receive a lotta lame messages all the time. I even won a DV lottery back in the days, in my mind! The reality check that made me do a double take was the fees I was expected to make available. And then there was a mail from a terminally ill billionaire who out of his magnanimity, selected yours truly to take over his business empire. Like seriously??? Fiddlesticks! Those scam mails always find their ways to my mailbox and I just delete ’em immediately! Thanks for this beautiful piece, hilarious and very insightful I find it! Kudos!

    • Chisom July 18, 2014 Reply

      Lmao @ the terminally ill billionaire. Omo, you na heir oh…i bet there was a fraud’s-star hanging around in the sky at the time, waiting to lead the Magi to you.
      Thank you, Yemi…you make me feel so good 🙂

  6. JayChioma July 18, 2014 Reply

    I get all those texts…even those from these 4digit numbers who want to send me the world cup details…after it has ended. I dont blame them. Na condition make crayfish bend.

    But come to think of it. My room would look really awesome with hundreds of thousands of little golden stars hanging from the ceiling…literally.

    Nice one there. Thanks for sharing.

    • Chisom July 18, 2014 Reply

      Your room would, wouldn’t it? Hahaha…thanks

  7. Adewoyin Joseph July 19, 2014 Reply

    Fraudsters everywhere. Even most big corporations around should all be dragged to court for their “corporate thieffry”. I feel like hissing out loud at the thought but you won’t hear and it’s of no use marring the comment section of a great post with such.

    You coined the fraud’s-star really well. Ingenious!

    Send BOLO to 5054 for our financially enthusing comment to this. You have one (1) hour.

  8. damstylee July 19, 2014 Reply

    This article tho…. LOL

    After the folklore… I scrolled back up to make sure I hadn’t switched tabs.. I mean, I was so confused…

    I remember when my mum got a mail that she had won a million dollars for winning a promo for Acer computer users… I spent minutes gooogling if Acer were the background creators of HP…. That’s one star but it was a long time ago… -____-…. I’m wiser now… I can’t even trust myself if I offered an offer or project to myself… it has gotten that bad…

    • Chisom July 19, 2014 Reply

      No need ever to feel bad over it…only learn. Thanks for reading through

  9. *
    I quite like reading a post that will make men and women think.
    Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

    Stuart Winsor

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