The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has issued a red alert to the public, particularly its West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) candidates, to be wary of the activities of certain people parading themselves as staff of WAEC with access to its results database.
Describing those people as fraudsters, the council explained that they (the fraudsters) often contacted candidates with the promise of bettering their results for a fee payable through mobile money transfer.
It said the fraudsters demanded amounts ranging from GH¢200 to GH¢700 per subject and the greater the number of subjects, the more discount was given.
Since Tuesday, September 8, 2015, more than 40 candidates and their parents have reported to WAEC about having been contacted by the fraudsters to allegedly pay money to get their grades altered.
Briefing the Daily Graphic at the WAEC Headquarters in Accra, the Deputy Director of Public Affairs of the council, Mrs Agnes Teye-Cudjoe, said according to records available, out of the number that had called at WAEC so far, only five fell prey to the fraudsters.
She said one of them insisted on paying the money through a bank account but the fraudsters declined to give out an account number.
She said those who paid the said amount either got fake print-out results or never heard from the fraudsters again.
“The sole aim of these swindlers is to make money from their victims by deceit. In their operations, they merely download results slips from the Internet, alter the original grades and print them out for their victims. This is a scam!” Mrs teye-Cudjoe stressed.
In all, 268,812 candidates wrote the WASSCE this year out of which 1,859 had their subject results cancelled while 453 candidates had their entire results cancelled. Eight candidates, who had their entire results cancelled, have been barred from taking any of WAEC’s exams for two years.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe assured the public that the council’s results database was well secure and that all forged results could be detected by its confirmation/verification system.
“Institutions and organisations are advised to confirm or verify results presented to them directly from the council or access the confirmation/verification service online at www.waecgh.org,” she advised.
She further enjoined members of the public to report the activities of those fraudsters to the nearest WAEC office or police station.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe was happy that the alert issued by WAEC to all its 142,890 private candidates via contact numbers provided for the council was effective, “since they decline to pay the money when the fraudsters demand for it”.
Asked how the fraudsters got the contacts of the candidates, she said the council suspected Internet café operators who assisted the candidates to register online as the people who provided the contacts of the candidates.
Mrs Teye-Cudjoe expressed concern that the situation had taken root because students refused to study and wanted the easy way to get good grades, making them fall prey to such fraudsters.
She added that the council did not sympathise with those who paid money to the fraudsters.
On what the council would do with the information being collated, she said the contact numbers used by the fraudsters to call the candidates or given out for the mobile money transfer would be compiled and presented to the security agencies for investigations.
She cited an instance when a parent walked to the University of Ghana with a fake results slip to demand why his child never gained admission to the university, even though the child had grade A1s and B2s throughout.
“But the university provided the real grades of the candidate for the parent,” Mrs Teye-Cudjoe explained.
Not satisfied with what the university had told him, she said, the man called at the offices of WAEC with the fake results slip that his son had given him and was surprised that his son’s real grades were two grade C5s, one D7, three E8s and one F9.