Few days to homecoming is usually my ‘owu’ period. Money for food & tp is probably all I will have left.
This particular year was worse. I had only #10,000 till vacation which was three days away.
‘Ten Thousand, Okay, reserve four thousand for feeding and other expenses while the six thousand will be your transport fare to Lagos’. I whispered, as I counted and sorted the money.
I was soon distracted by a beep on my phone, my message tone.
A message from 180.
‘Congratualtions! You have won two million naira in the MTN YouWin Promo! Call 08034****** to claim your prize’
I sat upright………I wanted to scream! Run to my girl next door, I hesitated.
2Million? I repeated.
‘Finally! MTN has deceided to reward me for being a worthy customer for the past five years. Yup! Its about timee’ I thought in silence.
I was already late for class, so I put away my phone and dashed off.
During class, all I thought about was ‘2million’
Everything on the board looked like ‘2million’
The words from the everyone’s mouth sounded like ‘2million’
I was hugely distracted, so I left the class to go get my ‘2Million’.
A voice came through, he spoke with an American accent.
Man : Hello, You are on to Mr Benard, an MTN representative. How may I help you?
Me : Hi, I’m Pandora, I got a text this morning that stated I had won 2millon Naira.
Man : Thats right, Miss Pandora, You are one of the lucky winners in the MTN youwin promo. You’ve won 2million naira. To claim this prize, you’ll have to send a three thousand naira recharge card to activate your pin.
Me : Okay, I’ll get back to you on that.
Three thousand? Hey & I only have ten thousand. I can’t afford to mess with it.
One a second thought….what is three thousand when I have ‘2million’ waiting for me?!
I rushed downstairs to get the airtime. With so much excitement and haste, I loaded the airtime on my phone….then called 08034***** back.
Me – Hi, I’ve loaded the airtime. What’s the next step to get my 2million?
Man – You loaded the three thousand airtime?
Me – Yes, Sir. I did. Isn’t that the instruction?
Man – No, Miss Pandora. You were supposed to send the airtime to activate your pin.
Me – Wow. Alright.
What do I do now? Buy another three thousand? And be left with four thousand? Ha! Thats a gamble. Thats a fucking gamble.
‘Nothing good comes easy. What is three thousand when you can get two million’ came a voice in my head.
‘Make this gamble, girl!’ It continued.
So I rushed downstairs again, to get another three thousand.
Scratched and sent to 08034*******.
Me – Hi, I just sent you the airtime. Has my pin been activated?
Man – Yes Miss, Congratulations. Your pin has been activated. You can now come down to Kano to receive your money.
Me – What? Kano? For real? I can’t get to Kano anytime soon Sir. Besides, I just used all my money to send that airtime.
Is there no other way out?
Man – Sorry, Miss Pandora. Only if you can get to Kano.
I ended the call with anger.
Then a thought hit me. ‘Could this be a scam?’
Oh my God. No. No. No. Thats all the money I have. Lord, Nooo.
Then I called 180 (MTN’s customer care)
C.C – Hi, I am Toyin, Welcome to MTN customer care. How may I help you?
Me – Hi, I just got a text that I won two million naira. I just want to confirm, If its true or nah.
C.C – No Miss, MTN doesn’t have any promo of sort going on right now. Also note that if we did, we will call to let you know. Not text. It must be a scam. Hope you haven’t given them anything. Have you? Hello?…..Hello Miss? Are you there? Hello?
No, I am not there. I’m dead. Infact I am in hell. Ah! My God. I’m finished!
Why do bad things happen to good people?
As I wailed in silence, feeling stupid and used. My eyes filled up with tears.
How do I get home now?
I waved the thought off my head, wiped my eyes, adjusted my blanket.
‘Tomorrow is another day’, I declared, as I shut my eyes.
With the status of our economy & the intense wickedness & greed in the heart of human. It is almost impossible to be safe from scams of different sorts. Some people even have offices and registered companies on the sole purpose of scamming people, they have no iota of conscience I tell you.
You can only take responsibilty of yourself by being wise and smart.
This happened over three years ago. I am alot smarter now. Lol.
Have a scam-free Day.