BY VINCENT E. I.
I could still remember that fateful day; earlier on that day, Mrs Patricia Marshal had entered the banking hall cheerfully and made some cash deposits. Not quite long she left, she ran back inside the banking hall crying and shouting: ‘Block his account! Block his account!!’
At first, we thought it was a lunatic that probably missed her road because she shouted on top of her voice. But as I looked up, I saw an average height pretty looking lady. She was so exasperated that she did not notice her wig had fallen at the staircase. Her panting was so heavy that it took me some time to calm her down and heard her out.
Then I continued: ‘Madam, please, may we know why you are panting?’ She narrated how ‘someone’ called her on phone and described a ‘juicy’ business proposal to her. The proposal was too good to be true!
The proposal was about sending some goods that was supposed to be worth a little above $6000. The caller asked her to send just $1000 as the final payment, that they would ship the goods to her. Wow! The lady exclaimed and calculated her profit and forgot she barely knew the caller. Alas! She made the deposit in the man’s account!
After some minutes of receiving the cash, the man stopped picking her calls and switched off his phone. He went blank in toto!!!
That was when it dawned on her that the caller was a fraudster. She rushed to the bank to ‘block’ the man’s account but unfortunately, the man was faster- he’d already withdrawn the money.
But does the bank ‘block’ customers’ account on a third party’s instruction? Or was the man nabbed? Well that is a story for another day.
That was how the elegant looking lady lost $1000 within 20 minutes.
From her expression, she seemed educated and sophisticated, but yet she fell for that decoy. Their offers are usually too enticing to resist. This is just a story, out of many, I handled in the banking industry as a relationship officer. It is true that some people had made a fortune through this kind of lucrative offers. Some could either be a miracle while some are omission, but these are how you could differentiate between the real and fake proxy business offers:
Once you pick their call and the person mentions your full name, don’t be carried away. Ask him to introduce himself. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, go further to ask how he got your contact. At that point, he might start stammering. Once he starts stammering or making random description, that’s a red flag.
Most fraudsters rarely use a corporate account details to execute their schemes. So, anytime they approach you with their lofty business proposal, request for a corporate account for any cash transaction. They usually withdraw once you request for a corporate account details.
After narrating the proposal to you, always inquire about the source of the supplies. Try to ascertain his job position in the company. Take note of his job description, most fraudsters do not enumerate their job description in the company. The only give you random descriptions. Once he starts talking randomly, that’s a red flag.
Just like the lady’s case above, the total cost of the consignment was supposed to be a little above $6000, but the fraudster asked her to pay just $1000. That’s a difference of $5000! Are you kidding me??!! That’s quite juicy!!!
She was either blinded by her greed or naiveness hence she didn’t see the fraudulent undertone.
So when you hear their proposal, no matter how juicy it might seem, always study it carefully before making payment.
Most fraudsters are always impatient. When you ask them questions, study their reactions, most of them don’t like too much questions. They become defensive or aggressive when their potential preys ask many questions. That’s another pointer.
Above all, the golden rule and the best guide still remains to drop the call or conversation if you are not convinced or nursing a doubt about any JUICY business proposal.
Always be smart enough to beat them at their game!
About the writer:
He is an entrepreneur, a boundary breaker and positive minded, the CEO of Hekstina Trailblazers NG and a former banker.
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