I woke up this morning and as I switched on my Phone, viola! a text message arrives (standard Nokia text message tone). Some times when I hear this text tone, I get excited because its either of two things. A client wants me to meet up with him to give me a job or some other good business news. Not that bad news dont come but for a text message to come through my business mobile line, it must be good especially on a monday morning.
This particular message came into my phone and got my attention immediately. It read like this:
"Congratulations! you have won N150,000.00. Your No. is among the 42 lucky winners of Lacasera Drink Bonanza, Ticket No. V020. Call 07031093502 or 08066859617 to claim your prize."
For a few seconds I was excited! I've never won any bonanza before or anything like it. But wait a minute! I never entered for any Lacasera Bonanza? O-yeah! na wah! for this Naija sef! .
Ok. I decided to play along and see how far it all goes. So I've got a few units on my phone to spare. I called the Number and a guy answered.
Now I dont know how or why this guy had to be sounding like he is from Jand (you know how a deep yoruba accent combiness with a wannabe american accent. His entire A and H are interchanged).
Here is our conversation:
Mr. 419: 'ello. Aow ha you ma frend!'
I said: 'Hello. emm, I got a text this morning that said I should call this number.
Mr. 419: 'Oh! Congratlasions! I shee you ha wan hof the Lacasera lucky winners.'
I said: Yes, Really? ...Ok.
Mr. 419: Ok. The Celebrations is hon now. We will like for you to follow our instructions so has to redeem your prize. So call me back in five minutes.
Click!... and he went off the line.
After like 15 minutes I called him back and he went through the same rehearsed 'ello! aow ha you ma frend. So I told him I was asked to call back.
Mr. 419: 'Congratlations once again! Now lisen carefully to this instruction on aw to redeem your prize of N150,000.00
I said: Am listening.
Mr. 419: We need you to send your name, age, mobile phone no and account No. as text message to this particular no. hand hin hoda for Zenith Bank to process your prize money, you will scratch N3000 Globacom resharge cards and send to this no. By the way Zenith Bank his the official bank that pays the prize money. This hiss to enable Zenith Bank sell the resharge cards and use the money to process your prize money to send to your account.
In my mind, am like: Ekwe! Sweet melody! Sing on broda! Since when did Zenith Bank start stooping so low, abi all na recapitalization techniques?
So I said: Abeg! call me back ma credit do finish so we go fit round up.
He called back!
So I said: Wait a minute Oga! I believe that Zenith Bank as "small a bank"as they are would not want to be collecting recharge cards instead of money as payment for services.
(Even Dundees Do 419. Naija don scatter finish)
Mr. 419: (Full of confidence) Ma frend, you can some over to hour hoffice in No.(somewhere in Lagos) So you can join your fellow celebrants to celebrate.
And I said: I dont Live in lagos (in my mind i said: "Oh! so recharge card no do you, you also wan cut my head and private part wey you go take do juju for money. your fada").
Mr. 419/Ritualist: It will be nice for you to come over so the money will be handed over to you in person. But anyway as you are not in Lagos. Just send the resharge card. No problem.
So I said: Can we do it this way (my naija sense kicking in). I will send my account No. Pay in N147,000 and pay Zenith Bank the remaining N3000. That way its a lot easier for both of us. Better still, just give me N100,000. Take N47,000.00 and give Zenith Bank their 3k. If you no gree for that one, make we split the money 50/50 just give me ma own share i no dey greedy.
Man did I get a click? The loudest for that matter. The line went dead!