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NDLEA alerts citizens, says scammers on prowl impersonating its agents



The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is alerting Nigerians about a rise in scams involving individuals impersonating NDLEA officers.

The agency issued a statement on Friday, urging the public to be vigilant and avoid falling prey to these deceptive tactics.

This was made known in a statement by the NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, shared on the agency’s website on Saturday.

The statement said, “The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency wishes to alert members of the public especially those who have loved ones abroad to a new scheme by scammers who impersonate NDLEA officers and call unsuspecting citizens to inform them of the arrest of their relatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja Lagos or any other international airport in Nigeria with illicit drugs upon arrival in the country.

“After throwing the family members into panic, the scammers then make a demand of millions of naira to facilitate the release of such persons from NDLEA custody. We have thwarted a number of such bids in the past when the family members called the agency’s official contacts for help or clarification.”

READ ALSO: NDLEA arrests four suspected members of drug cartel, declares 11 wanted

The scam reportedly targets citizens, particularly those with loved ones abroad. Fraudsters make contact, often by phone, and inform unsuspecting individuals that their relatives have been arrested for drug-related offenses. The scammers may then demand money or other valuables in exchange for leniency or release.

The statement emphasized that the agency “does not solicit payments or engage in any undercover operations that involve extorting money from people.”

He advised Nigerians to verify any claims of arrest directly with the NDLEA by contacting their local office or national headquarters.

“Nigerians with loved ones abroad are also urged to keep discussions on travel plans of their relatives to themselves to avoid the hijack of such by criminal elements for devious schemes.

”For those who may have a similar challenge, please feel free to seek help or clarification through any of our contact lines,” the statement reads.

The statement also outlined steps individuals can take to protect themselves:

• Do not share personal information or financial details over the phone.
• Verify the caller’s identity. Request an official identification number and confirm it with the NDLEA.
• Report any suspicious calls or messages to the NDLEA.

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