“Orange-Promotion-Bonus-Congratulations! Dear Client, considering your multiple calls, top-ups and transactions made during ‘2016’, your number was selected by Megawin to participate in an end-of-year draw and you have a premium bonus of: FCfa 650,000 which can be activated and withdrawn from all O.M. [Orange Money] points throughout the country, a ticket for a stay in Kribi”. This is the text message that Orange Cameroun subscribers, subsidiary of the French group Orange, have been receiving for some time now.
The same text message continues: “Kindly contact the Orange Cameroon promotion service on the standard number [694_66_18_86] for the procedure to activate and withdraw your prize. Orange Cameroun thanks you for your loyalty!!”.
In fact, this text message supposedly from Orange Cameroun is a trap. It is, according to the operator, a message sent by con-men, to take advantage of subscribers. “You will notice that the alleged number of the commercial service contacting the user is not a short code. But an ordinary telephone number. Additionally, when a ‘prize winner’ calls said number, they are connected to someone who answers from the street, like Ndokoti in Douala or Mokolo in Yaoundé. Their speech is very hesitant. Finally, the trickster asks for an account number, the full name, the neighbourhood, etc. All which are not our custom”, explains the commercial service of Orange Cameroun.
The mobile company whispers that this method is a way for some people to steal data from mobile money users.