Johannesburg - Nigeria's biggest mobile network operator has alerted members of the public of a scam that fraudsters have coined during the election period.
The scammers have made the most of the wide media coverage of the closely-contested poll to sell members of the public a dummy, and dupe them of money in airtime value.
The scammers proclaim MTN Nigeria has received authority from President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, and losing candidate, Goodluck Jonathan, to give customers free airtime to reward their conduct during polls.
Poorly-crafted messages are strewn in some media suggesting the promotion.
“Thank God the election was successful. Say Buhari! Buhari have giving (sic) MTN the authority to give free airtime to All Nigeria nation,” read a proclamation by one curiously-named Jonathan Buhari.
There is even a claim the said promotion has been so well-received that customers are fighting for SIM recharge cards!
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“Presidential election for Jonathan and Buhari. Some are running and fighting to get MTN SIM card... that Jonathan and Buhari have giving (sic) MTN authority to give free airtime to the All Nigerian nation.”
According to the scammers, to qualify for the so-called promotion, a subscriber has to buy an MTN recharge card for a price ranging from N200 and N1 500.
They are then asked to go to their message box and type the PIN number of the serial number of the card. They will, according to the proclaimers, then receive free airtime and data.
However, in response to enquiries from CAJ News, MTN dismissed the said promotion as a con.
“This is not a true promo,” MTN Nigeria’s spokesperson, A'isha Umar Mumuni, said.
“It is a scam that we have asked our social media team to indicate as such.”
Mumuni explained that the highlighted "16-digit PIN" or "IMDF" was an MTN MSISDN in international format.
“If the subscriber sends the message to the "IMDF", s/he will be sending the recharge card's PIN to the scammer.”