The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in a statement noted that the scammers are taking advantage of the financial challenges facing workers, especially those struggling to dupe them.
EOCO cautions salaried workers against fraudsters
Salaried workers in the country have been warned against the current scheme by fraudsters targeting them.
The statement signed by the Head of Public Relations on behalf of the Executive Directive of EOCO, said the fraudsters would call and send text messages promising loans at affordable rates and promise to coach individuals on how to secure loans for a fee.
According to EOCO, the scammers’ modus operandi is to call and persuade salaried workers to secure loans or propose to assist them secure loans.
These unscrupulous individuals pose as staff of the Controller and Accountant-General's Department (CAGD), thus, assure unsuspecting victims that they can secure a loan from any financial institution.
“It also told their victims the amount of money to procure after checking their affordability.
"This is supposedly to help ease the process of retrieving the locked up funds owned by the victim," the EOCO statement read.
The statement further said the scammer would promise that the CAGD would pay the lump sum to the financial institution where the loan was acquired, so that after the loan was secured the scammer would take a percentage of the total sum.
It said in other instances, they persuaded salaried workers and took their passport pictures and identity cards with the hope of securing the loan on their behalf.
"The worker receives the loan, pays the agreed percentage to the scammer, but ends up paying double the amount that was previously agreed on," it said.
It said once the victim realised they had been scammed, all efforts to reach the scammer proved futile.
EOCO has thus warned that there are many red flags that salaried workers should be on the lookout for, including but not limited to: a demand for payment upfront or after, instructions to submit personal details to a third party, persistent calls, messages to convince you to go for a loan.
It urged workers to contact the financial institution directly, make enquiries and request for the loan amounts they needed.
Salaried workers should also contact their institution or company's Finance Department for information about their eligibility for loans and other requirements.
"Work with a legitimate, licensed and qualified person or company. If you have any locked up funds with the Controller and Accountant General's Department, write to them through your institution to request for your money," it added.
EOCO finally advised workers not to under any circumstance engage an unknown third party to retrieve unpaid or locked up salaries with CAGD and they should not handover their personal details, staff ID numbers and password to third parties.
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