Globacom, What’s Up With This Fraud?

Let’s talk tonight 🙂 – 5471705735

Your’s sincerely received the SMS above. The only thing slightly abnormal with the text was the number, but then again, I regularly receive calls from “spirit-like” numbers. So I did what any young man not allergic to receiving a seductive text would do. I replied “who’s this pls?”. A reply came about 10 seconds later. With a slight Ronaldoesque arrogance on my face, I picked up my phone with my left hand and clicked open the text.

Thank you for being a part of Frenszo Chat where you make NEW FRIENDS anonymously. Your chat id is 1380154.Start talking now!Dial 547 to chat with your friends.

I do not know what annoyed me more, the fact that the reply was not what I was expecting or that the fact I was DUPED into subscribing what I definitely did not want to subscribe to. This is not the first time I have complained about unsolicited communication. I am sure all GLO users are used to our friend 40404 and the SMSs from 1212 that try real hard to lure you into participating in a raffle. But this auto-subscribe Frenszo Chat takes it to another level. It is a scam. pure and simple.

Not the first time

I few months ago, immediately after loading a the grand sum of N500 airtime, I received a “missed call” from a strange looking foreign number. I called back. The call lasted about one second and it said my credit had finished. I smiled because I knew I had just fallen for a premium number scam. Unfortunately, I did nothing about it. I even sort of blamed myself thinking I should have known better. Thinking back, I can imagine how much these slimy bastards must have stolen from someone like my grandmum. This scam of course is not possible without the aid of GLO and other telcos.  Assuming they are not directly behind it entirely. This time around, I will do my little bit and send send off a petition to NCC. Please, If you know anyone that can help make my petition have the slightest of effects, do let me know (ositanwoye@gmail).

The way forward


That Tweet by Mbwana has a high level description of the solution to this problem. There should be an “app-store” for VAS (Value Added Service). Most importantly, each VAS should have the identity and contact number of the company behind the service published. And there should also be a way to report the criminal services that steal. Someone should please run along with this idea and when you hammer, send my N500 recharge card.

Another important thing is that there should be a universal way/standard  to unsubscribe to any service say by replying with the letter ‘U’. Or better still, opting out entirely from ANY unsolicited communication from telco’s and their added services.

Why does NCC Keep Quiet as Nigerian Telcos Scam Subscribers?

I have complained numerous times about the abuse of my phone number in the hands of Airtel, GLO and MTN. Everyday, these GSM providers spam me with one promo or another. Airtel’s is particularly getting out of hand.

I just received the following poorly constructed, all caps message from Airtel


Now what is the difference between this and a typical scam message? I definitely did not receive any urgent call.

Of recent, almost all companies in Nigeria; Banks, FMCG’s, Radio Stations etc, have continually promoted the culture of winning money without any effort. While their’s is a bit disappointing, the telcos have taken it up a notch.

They are abusing the fact that they have our numbers entrusted to them to look for dubious was to skim us off money.

Their ‘intelligent’ business model is this, everyday, spam your 20 million subscribers at no cost, then get say 1,000 00, 000 to pay N100 for the chance of winning N1 million and viola, they have a revenue of 100 Million of which N99 million is profit. (Note: in the message above N100 would be deducted daily)

This is immoral and criminal and should be stopped immediately.  the Telco’s are taking advantage and abusing their positions as the holders of our information.

Can you imagine if banks mass messaged all their customers asking for the deduction of N100 from their accounts for the chance to win big?*

These Telcos are the same people the Government of Nigeria has mandated us to submit all our personal data, including bio data to. What a huge shame!

In any decent promo, especially the one’s that cost money, participants are supposed to opt-in and have the  ability to opt-out easily.

I am hoping that the regulatory body NCC would look at this and stop these companies that already provide terrible service at very high cost  from fleecing us further.

With this ‘promo culture’ promoted by otherwise ‘reputable’ organizations rampant in our system, it is easy for people to fall for scams when yahoo boys send similar messages.

How do we stop this nonsense? How do we get the message in front of the right eyes?

Or am I the only one that has a problem with it?

*I will not be too surprised if someone submits a ‘brilliant proposal’ for this one day.