The National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) has spoken out about scams connected to the Federal Government’s Cash Transfer program. They have made it clear that they are strongly against any kind of fraud related to this program.
Understanding the Federal Government Cash Transfer Program Scam Alert by NASSCO
The Scam Revealed
Many fake websites and sign-up platforms are appearing online. These can be found on social media sites and even in messaging apps. The main goal of these scams is to trick people. By falling for these scams, people can lose money and give away private details, like bank information.
Official Information Channels
NASSCO wants everyone to know that only trusted government channels will share true details about the cash transfer programs. People should be careful and not believe any strange or suspicious messages that say they can help with the cash program.
Thousands Defrauded in Fake Nigerian Government Palliative Scheme
Over 9,000 Nigerians were tricked into paying N300 each with the hope of enrolling in the federal government’s financial aid for households. A group falsely claimed to be representing an NGO called the “Honeycomb Foundation”, tasked by the government to collect beneficiary data.
How the Scam Operated:
- WhatsApp Groups: The fraudsters set up multiple WhatsApp groups, each titled ‘GOVT. PALLIATIVE GROUP’. These groups promised members a spot among the beneficiaries of the government’s financial aid.
- Payment to Individual Accounts: Members were asked to pay N300 into an Access Bank account owned by one Ezeasor Andrew Chukwudi.
- Data Collection: After payment, members provided details like their name, phone number, date of birth, bank details, state of residence, state of origin, and LGA of origin.
- Profit from the Scam: The scam managed to amass over N2.7 million from these unsuspecting individuals in just a few days.
- Suspicions & Removal: Members who raised doubts or questioned the authenticity were quickly removed from the group.
PiggyBank report highlights that the National Assembly had approved an $800 million loan from the World Bank for the Nigerian government. This money was meant to support vulnerable Nigerians affected by the removal of the petroleum subsidy.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu promised N25,000 to 15 million households for three months through the official Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.
Honeycomb Foundation Claims
The group coordinators said they were from the ‘Honeycomb Foundation’, assigned by the Nigerian government. However, they could not clarify for which specific government program they were collecting data. When questioned, Khalid, the team lead, stated that the federal government asked them to collect the N300 fee.
- Federal Government’s Stand: The National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) and the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) denounced such schemes. They have not authorized any group to collect money for palliative registration.
- Advice to the Public: Nigerians were advised to stay away from such scams and to report any such incidents to the police.
The Alleged Scammers’ Defense
Ezeasor claimed he was merely an employee, hired by an NGO to collect the N300 fee. He maintained that N250 from each payment was forwarded to the NGO, and the rest was for logistics. However, searches on the legitimacy of ‘Honeycomb Multipurpose Co-operative’ yielded no results. The foreign-based ‘Honeycomb Foundation’ focuses on helping people with disabilities, unrelated to the Nigerian government’s palliative program.
Conclusion: This scam highlights the vulnerability of many Nigerians hoping for financial aid from the government. It serves as a cautionary tale to always verify the authenticity of such schemes and be wary of sharing personal information and money based on unverified promises.