Operatives of the Nigerian Police Force have nabbed four suspects who were allegedly involved in cybercrimes through sending fake bank alerts to unsuspecting victims.
The suspects identified by the police as, Osigbeme Bolivia Maradona, Silver Crest Prince- Porto, Arume Onu and Imion Gideon, had before the arrest operated within Abuja.
Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), during a briefing in Abuja on Monday said four of the suspects were, “specialists in generating and sending fake bank alerts,” to unsuspecting victims.
“The implication of this is that if you are the owner of a shop or whatever business you do, you must be mindful of people that walk into your shop and tell you ‘I will pay online, check for the alert.’ Some of the alerts you get are not alerts, they are pseudo alerts, they will only last for minutes,” Mba said while parading the suspects.
According to the police, the alerts generated were used for “sundry” purposes including, “paying for commercial sex.”
One of the suspects, Gideon, said the alerts were usually generated from a “Fidelity App.” According to him, another member of the group will screenshoot the fake alert generated and will forward it to the victim.
He said when they entered an account number into an undisclosed mobile banking app, it would show the details of the account, then they would enter the fake amount and forward the alert to their victims.
The suspect who admitted wrongdoing said that he also used the same means to pay commercial sex workers after they had rendered service to him.
Another member of the group, Prince- Porto, who said his mom is a Nigerian while his dad is an Italian, said the fake bank alert was known as “breeze.”
According to him, whenever he sent such alerts, the recipient would get credited immediately, adding that the, ” alert does not last.”
“That money is a breeze, it doesn’t last, fifteen minutes it will revert. Sometimes I go to the club, I carry those girls on the street, if they call big money, I don’t price them. After I am through with them in the morning, first thing in the morning, I will transfer the money to her and she will receive the alert immediately. I will now tell her that I am leaving, so that it won’t revert after the fifteen minutes period. So, after fifteen minutes, she will discover it is a fake alert,” he added.
The suspect further revealed that, ” if you have N2,222 in your account and somebody wants to transfer N10,000, the actual alert will be N12,222.00k, but when you receive N12, 222.00, that is a fake alert. If it shows the kobo, that is the real alert,” he noted.