The Department of State Services, DSS, has alerted the public to a new pattern of fraud targeted at heads of public institutions, officials and agencies.
The DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, said in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
He explained that its investigations indicated that the fraudsters used names of the supervising authorities of the Chief Executive Officers to extort or fleece the CEOs of huge sums of money.
He said, “Believing that these fraudsters actually act on behalf of highly placed government functionaries, the victims are deceived to part with their valuables including money.”
In other instances, he added, heads of agencies were made to feel that there were incriminating materials against them for which they must pay or be arrested by security agencies.
Afunanya stated that the fraudsters were also targeting those seeking new appointments or renewal of term.
He said, “Those also targeted are persons seeking new appointments or renewal of term. It is envisaged that the act may be at its peak during this transition period when prospective appointees are jostling for positions.”
“This notice, therefore, serves as an early warning to possible victims who are hereby advised to be wary of the antics of these merchants. Also, they are enjoined to promptly report to security agencies when approached by suspected fraudulent persons desirous of using names of high ranking public officials to defraud them,” the agency stated.
The service said it would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to apprehend the fraudsters as well as ensure the security and integrity of the nation.