The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) wishes to bring to the attention of the general public the existence of a new-fangled scholarship fraud scheme being used to swindle unsuspecting citizens of their money.
The perpetrators, by the promise of a bogus scholarship purportedly offered by the Federal Government of Nigeria through prominent and former high-ranking government officials, including a former Vice President, have brought tears and anguish to many hapless citizens.
The modus operandi of the scammers is as follows: scam electronic messages with the profile of prominent Nigerians are sent at random to the email addresses of people asking interested applicants to apply for the scholarship; designated bank accounts where processing fees are to be paid are provided; while an online application form is displayed for interested persons to fill in. The snare is usually in the request for the “applicant” to pay some processing fee for the scholarship application. Once the processing fee is paid, the interaction ends.
There are also pop-ups on various legitimate internet sites bearing similar requests and information.
Currently, for example, three suspected scammers namely: James, Mark and Blessing Akwamese Enwenode, parading themselves as agents of a former Vice President defrauded a petitioner to the tune of N262, 000. The petitioner claimed that the money was paid into a United Bank of Africa (UBA) account number 2064358743 owned by Enwenode as processing fees for the fake scholarship. In addition to this report, ICPC is in receipt of many other similar reports.
The Commission maintains that no single individual can offer any Federal Government scholarship as it is the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government of Nigeria. However, affluent and altruistic members of the society do offer scholarships which come either in their names or through a foundation.
The Commission hereby advises interested members of the public to always do a proper check on any scholarship scheme before applying for it to avoid falling prey to scammers.