Patrons of lotto products in the Upper West Region have expressed concern on alleged growing fraudulent deals perpetuated by faceless individuals using the name of National Lottery Authority (NLA) to swindle unsuspecting people.
The persons are reportedly parading themselves as officials from NLA who often advertise on traditional and social media platforms, particularly on Facebook and whatsApp, where several unwary lotto customers are conned of huge sums of unspecified monies.
Several victims who spoke in an interview in Wa on condition of anonymity, named one Mr Kofi Osei Ameya as the kingpin behind the scandalous deals, who mostly advertise on several platforms promising to leak winning numbers from NLA.
The so-called leaked numbers are described as “the game” which a lot of people are falling sway to the tricks of swindlers who charge up to GH¢1,000.00 for registration alone.
Posing as an official from NLA who has fore knowledge of winning numbers to be played public on a particular day, Mr Ameya often convinced his victims to pay GH¢1,000.00 as registration fees to qualify one among lucky winners.
“He told me he was working at the NLA head office, when I complained the time I was chatting with him was too late for me to pay and stake the numbers, he said that was not a problem since he was working at the NLA national office,” one victim said.
Another person who also fell prey to the scam, said he reported the incidence to the Police in Wa after he was duped to the tune of a whopping GH¢4,000.00 by one Philip Kofi who claimed to be working at the NLA headquarters.
“I provided the available evidence to the Police CID [Criminal Investigations Department] including the man’s contact through which I paid the money,” he said.
According to him, the police officer in an attempt to establish further evidence, posed as a client and the perpetrator told him he would be given leaked numbers from the NLA headquarters at a cost of GH¢5,000.00.
The Upper West Regional (U/WR) Police CID confirmed that several of such reports had come to their attention and were under investigations to bring perpetrators to book.
The U/WR Manager of NLA, Mr Theodore Amenuavor, also confirmed the reports about the fraudulent operations, but added that public education was being rolled out by NLA to sensitise lotto clients to guard against such illegal activities.
He said the NLA did not provide numbers to people desiring to play the lottery game and that all those who play the raffle were given equal chance of winning the numbers which “can never be predetermined by anybody”.
“I am confused and surprised as to how someone will pay such a huge money to a person you have never met before and I think this is greed and selfishness,” he added.
Mr Amenuavor said he had personally advised a victim about the fraud yet the person went ahead and paid GH¢2,000.00 to the fraudsters and later came back with a fake lotto paper sent to him through whatsApp as the winning numbers.
He urged the public to support NLA and the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.
Last month, the Authority in a statement cautioned the public against activities and operations of Lotto Fraudsters, Social Media Miscreants and illegal Lotto Operators and Agents, describing them as miscreants using traditional and social media platforms to defraud unsuspicious people.
“Some of these lotto fraudsters and social media miscreants have set up Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media pages using pictures and names of the Director-General and Staff of NLA to defraud people,” it said.
“These fraudsters use clever tactics to convince the staking public to make Mobile Money Transfers to them in exchange for Winning Lotto Numbers”.