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Posts Tagged ‘Loans’

BEWARE OF ROMANCE SCAM

Fraudsters contact unsuspecting victims with love and attention or seeking long-term relationship. However, it is an opportunity to swindle you of your hard-earned money. They do it through email, social media, dating websites and apps. It appears a little strange that people fall for such but these fraudsters take a lot of time to build the relationships online and make them seem very real.

Fraudsters prey on the emotions of their victims and may sweet-talk you into sending them cash or gifts. They gain your trust and always have a fake backstory to convince you to send them money. Once they have gained your trust, they will use various stories to get money. These scammers start by requesting for small amount of money and generate to large amount. They would blackmail their victims if their financial demands are not met. Most often, they do not ask for money but present a problem that can be solved by money, because they know their victim would offer financial assistance.

Scammers and fraudsters get information from your social media and use it to convince you to part away with huge sums of money. Therefore, let us keep our private life private; do not share private photos and videos of family members, do not share your banking details with anyone and verify information by speaking to a trusted friend/ relative before parting away with money or any form of gift.

Identifying Romance Scams:

  1. People who tug on your emotions – they claim to have a family emergency and need financial support.
  2. People who want to cash in on your trust – They suggest depositing a large amount of money in your account in preparation for a future together.
  3. People who pretend to love you – they trick you into believing they have fallen in love at first sight to capture your heart (and your savings).
  4. People who pretend to be abroad and unavailable – They pretend to be always traveling and are rarely available adding to the romantic allure and making it difficult to find out who they really are.
  5. Relationship moving so fast – They confess love within a short time of making contact.

If you have been a victim or knows anyone who has been a victim, report any incident to the following law enforcement agency:

The Economic and Organised Crime Office

Email: eoco@eoco.gov.gh

WhatsApp Number: 0579079066

The Cyber Security Centre

Short Code: 292

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SCAM ALERT – BEWARE OF LOAN SCAMS

Scammers are targeting salaried workers and attempting to take advantage of people who may be struggling financially.

These unscrupulous individuals call and send text messages promising loans at affordable rates and promising to coach individuals to secure loans for a fee.

The Economic and Organised Crime Office has in recent times received a number of complaints from salaried workers who have fallen victim to these individuals.

MODE OF OPERATION

Scammers call and persuade salaried workers to secure loans or propose to assist them to secure loans. This is done in the hope of retrieving their locked up funds at Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD). These unscrupulous individuals pose as staff of (CAGD), thus, assure unsuspecting victims that they could secure a loan from any financial Institution. They further tell 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 the victim. The scammer will promise that CAGD will pay the lump sum to the financial institution where the loan was acquired, after the loan is secured, the scammer takes a percentage of the total sum.

In other instances, they persuade salaried workers and take 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.

Once the victim realises they have been scammed, all efforts to reach the scammer proves futile.

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.

To prevent this from happening, there are steps that can be taken to ensure a safe and educated choice is made:

  • Do it yourself (DIY): Contact the financial institution directly, make enquires and request for the loan amount you need.
  • Contact your institution/company’s Finance Department for information about your eligibility for loans and other requirements.
  • Work with a legitimate, licensed and qualified person or company.
  • If you have any locked up funds with Controller and Accountant General’s Department, write to them through your institution to request for your money.
  • Do not under any circumstance engage an unknown third party to retrieve unpaid or locked up salaries with CAGD.
  • Do not handover your personal details, staff ID numbers and password to third parties.

The Economic and Organised Crime Office in line with its mandate to prevent and detect organised crime will continue to monitor these developments with the aim to ensure that citizens are protected from scammers and fraudsters.

SGD

FAUSTINA LARTEY

HEAD/PUBLIC AFFAIRS

FOR: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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EOCO chases directors of defunct financial institutions

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has opened investigations into the activities of Directors, Managers and Supervisors of the collapsed financial entities.


COP (Rtd.)Frank Adu-Poku

The licenses of these financial entities were revoked by the Bank of Ghana for regulatory infractions and mismanagement.

The Executive Director of EOCO, COP Retired Frank Adu-Poku told Citi News that they are investigating the criminality aspect of the dealings of the defunct entities.

“We are to fight organised crime and then recover proceeds of organised crime. The government started this process sometime in 2018, 2019 and the Receiver was appointed. And the Receiver in order to fight this, had to get some other institutions to support it so we came together as an investigative body to ensure that companies and directors who have collected monies from the public are brought to book so the Receiver submitted about 23 companies – Savings and Loans Companies and 347 microfinance companies to us.”

Two teams to conduct investigations 

He indicated that two teams had been formed to conduct these investigations, adding that these two teams had started investigating three Savings and Loans companies – Ideal Finance, Unit Credit and Express Savings and Loans.

“We had to come up with a strategy and that was to divide ourselves into two teams and the two teams looked at the major companies in terms of deposits taken from the public and maybe the way that they handled members of the public. We started with three from the Savings and Loans and the three we are talking of are Ideal Finance, UniCredit and Express Savings and Loans.”

“The quantum of deposits that they have collected from members of the public – so many customers have been denied their monies. The idea was that they were to deposit these monies into the banks so they could receive their monies back. In the case of Ideal Finance, we are talking about 700 million cedis which have not been accounted for. In the case of microfinance companies, we are talking about 150 million ghana cedis so we pick depending on the quantum of amounts that have been lodged with them which they have not been able to account for.”

Mr. Adu-Poku said the investigations will be in two sessions – the arrest and interrogation of directors, managers, and supervisors of the collapsed financial entities as well as prosecution and freezing of their assets.

“In fact, investigations are in two-folds. First, we arrest the directors, interrogate and if they have the money to pay, they pay. On the other hand, we are preparing them for prosecution and if they are prosecuted then we go after their assets and so far I believe the exercise has been successful.”

Kotei Dzane’s arrest

Mr. Adu-Poku confirmed that Kotei Dzani’s prior to his assets being frozen by EOCO was arrested, adding that he was subsequently released after an intervention by his lawyers.

“We started with Ideal Finance where the main director is Kotei Dzani. We brought him to this office and it was based on an invitation. But in the course of investigations, we saw that he was somebody who can be treated as a suspect and so he was treated as such… He was formally arrested and just about being put into the cells but because of the intervention of his lawyers, we decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and legalise whatever he had to.”

Citi News gathered that Mr. Dzani’s assets were frozen to among others find a way of retrieving funds from him to pay back customers whose funds are locked up with the defunct Ideal Finance.

Reports say the funds are in excess of GHS 700 million.

EOCO, upon a referral from the Receiver for Ideal Finance, invited Nii Kotei Dzani for questioning on 3 allegations; GHc23m paid to a client, 200 acres of land he allegedly stole from Ideal Finance, and unlawful use of Ideal Finance’s funds to build “Camp Tsaetse.”

Source: Citinewsroom.com

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