Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#CODED-ish Gist: Beware of This Arik Airline Job Offer Scam

1:49 PM


She recently got duped of N20,000 and I still can’t believe she could fall for such scam. There may be one or two lessons to learn from the story. So read carefully.

You see, apart from blogging, I have this 9-5pm job that I do and sometimes my work extends to receiving calls/making calls to clients (if need be).

So on Friday while carrying about my job description diligently, a client who claimed to be ‘Patrick Okafor’ from Arik Airline, called to make some enquiries and as usual I received the call calmly, curtly and …as I could.

After attending to his enquiries, he thanked me and said he was very impressed with how I attended to him. He asked for what I studied in school, my grades, credentials…blah blah and then he asked if I’l like to work with Arik Air.

I simply laughed over it but he was very persistent so I quickly googled his name and I found that the supposed ‘Patrick Okafor’ was real, he’s the GM for security/operations in Arik plus he won two awards recently.

In convincing me, he said “See dear, Arik is currently recruiting (not cabin crew), customer/human resource/client officers and today is the last day for the interview and I will really like you to be there, you have really impressed me” and then he mentioned a mouth watering, jaw breaking and bone weakening salary range!

I was glad, in my mind I was like ‘wow, God is this how amazing you are, see how you’ve favoured me” but there was but, he needed me to fly to Abuja that day.

I looked through my schedule and asked if I could fly in on Monday for my interview cos I didn’t plan to leave Lagos this weekend but he said ‘Nah, we’ve selected the employees and today is the final interview stage, medical check-ups and screening will hold tomorrow (Saturday) I am going to include your name cos I’m on the board and your training will begin in Lagos on Monday”

It sounded so real, I suspected no foul play but I told him ‘Thank you for the offer sir but I love my current job….and I can’t fly out of Lagos today”.  He said ‘Okay’ and asked if I had any friend who is as pleasant as I am or that I can vouch for.

“I will be extending the opportunity to three of your friends, preferably a male and two females but I will really like you to come, I want you to work with us at Arik, you impressed me”.

So I told him I would get back to him.

Sharp sharp I took to my BBM status and threw it open for my contacts, in less than 3 seconds, I got over a 100 pings…anyways, I selected two of them and asked them to call the dude which they did.

I began having second thoughts and my conscience began scolding me “….you don’t know if this is God’s way of turning your life around for the best, lol”

So I sent him a text saying “I changed my mind, I’m interested.”

He called back, he laughed (he has this chief-like voice by the way) and asked why I said no at first…anyway, he said I needed to go and book a flight at the airport and when we checked the fee, it was like 33k+.

So I said “I don’t have that amount to spend o” and he said ‘Don’t worry, you will be given a discount…you will only pay N20, 110…I will give you the account to pay it into (Diamond Bank…A/c name Stella Chibuzor Obiahuba A/c Nos:  0036030010) so that you can have your ticket sorted out on time…all you need to do is to show up at the airport with your teller and passport…take your credentials, NYSC cert, birth cert, five passports and CV along (as if I didn’t know tha)…you will need that at the interview”

And I asked ‘how do I return?”

“You need to back in Lagos Saturday noon or evening so you can get ready for your training which starts Monday. Return flight is about 33k+ too but don’t worry, I assure you that your name will be included in the staff pay roll already so that it will be deducted from your salary”
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I was happy ehn. As if I was under a spell, I ran to the bank to pay oh.

He then sent a mail that I should quickly forward my CV to the mail addy, arikair@yahoo.co.uk/amadiobi@yahoo.co.uk and I forwarded to my friends (who had also paid the 20, 110)

It was then one of them that said ‘ah han, babe, you sure this is not fake. Their mail addy should end with arikair eg amadiobi@arikair.com, major and big  organisations always have a customized mail id”.

My heart sank.

And then the other one called and said ‘babe that dude’s number is no more going through o, you sure he is not fake ?’

So I called him, he picked and he said ‘yeah I’m about going for a meeting, my secretary has seen your CV, your flight ticket has been sorted out, just go to the airport and wait at terminal too, someone will call you”

Right there a part of me said ‘Babe this thing is fake’ and while the other part said otherwise.

My other friend said ‘Babe abeg, I’m not going to airport o, it’s fake…you go ahead and tell me whatsup’

So I decided to find out….I went to the airport and when he called he said “your flight is for 6:30pm, just hang around,one of the ticket attendants will call you”

I waited till 6:15pm (then it dawned on me fully that I had been duped) I sent him a text saying ‘it’s 6:15pm and no one has called me” he called, apologized and assured that someone will.

I waited till 6:30pm and sent him another text, he didn’t reply, I called him and he didn’t pick so I called my friends, apologized to them and told them ‘we have been scammed’

I laughed at my foolishness, and called a cab man to carry me home.

The annoying thing is that the ‘dude’ called around ’7:15pm’ and I still played calm and polite…he asked ‘so where are you now?’

God knows if I had my way I would  have cursed him or something but I kept calm and said ‘I left the airport about 45minutes ago’ and he said ‘you what?????!!!’ Like I had committed one big offence.

I cut the call, hissed and turned off my phone. I hope he doesn’t call back!!!

It was while relaxing in the vehicle that I crafted this out. Yeah it’s just 20k and I hope to make a complaint at the bank to see if it can be refunded but I learnt my lesson….so be contented with what you have (your job or whatever you have at hand) and don’t be greedy.

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