US-based Nigerian woman duped N500,000 via phone

What was meant to be a routine call to find out how a twin brother was faring in Abuja has cost a Nigerian woman based in the United States N500,000.

The woman, a Chicago-based nurse, did not know that some advance free fraudsters had resorted to tapping mobile phone numbers to defraud people.

Narrating the incident, the victim's twin brother, said his sister was told by the fraudsters when she called that he and his wife had a motor accident and that the money was needed for treatment.

The accident purportedly occurred around Shagamu when both of them were travelling to Lagos.

The man, a civil engineer from Anambra State, said the fraudsters talked his sister into sending the money to Nigeria as she was told that he had a spinal cord injury which needed immediate surgery.

The money which was remitted into an account in a Lagos bank was meant to pay for the surgery and other incidentals that could occur in the process of treatment.

"They even told her the exchange rate, so that she will know exactly how much she will send in dollars," he said.

On how they got the telephone number, he said his sister said the fraudsters claimed that they picked him and his wife up from the scene of the accident and took them to the hospital.

According to him, the phone was one of the items recovered from the scene and is being kept to take calls from relations and friends, to intimate them on developments, since they were yet to show up.

They also told my sister that the car burnt as a result of the accident and that he and his wife narrowly escaped death.

On whether the victim did not call other relations and friends in Nigeria to cross- check the story, he said luck was on the side of the fraudsters because efforts by his sister to get his wife and brother on their phones that same day failed.

"Because she could not get across to any other person that same day, she believed the cooked-up story, quickly raised and remitted the money to the agreed account in a so called Lagos bank,'' he said.

On whether the matter would be allowed to die down, he said that he was making inquiries for now and would not want to disclose details of the account and name of the bank.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that mobile phone users in Abuja have complained of receiving strange calls, asking them for one favour or trying to corner them into same shady deals.