The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has alerted petrol station owners and other oil marketers to be wary of some hoodlums who now patrol as DPR Officials.
Mohammed Saidu, DPR spokesperson, said these set of people have capitalized on the fuel scarcity in the country to extort oil marketers and tarnish the image of the department.
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According to Saidu, the activities of the fake officials have brought about overpricing of fuel in some areas “The outcome of this scarcity has caused us a lot where people now parade themselves and go to filing stations extorting money from marketers in the name of DPR.”
The fraudsters are fond of patrolling filling stations offering to sell at any amount to fleece unsuspecting businessmen.
Speaking on how to identify DPR officers, Saidu revealed that they usually go on assignment with official vehicles clearly marked as `DPR` “We don’t allow our officials to go to filing stations with their personal vehicles. No DPR officer will go out on an official assignment without hanging his or her identity card and once you are not with your identity card, you are not representing DPR,” he said.
The fraudsters also cloned DPR's website claiming the agency was recruiting for ExxonMobil“They created an account where such monies are paid to and we have a lot unsuspecting Nigerians who came with tellers claiming to come and get their money back. There were a lot of fake appointment letters from Chevron, Mobil and so on.''Saidu claimed.
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DPR however, says it has alerted multinational companies to beware of the scammers and is presently collaborating with security operatives to cage the activities of the fake officials.“We want to warn Nigerians that before they deal with DPR, make sure you are dealing with the right official by identifying himself.” the agency warned.