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Beware of viral video showing cars being auctioned off, Nigeria Customs Service says it's a 'scam'

IN SHORT: Nigeria Customs Service says that a viral video advertising cars for auction is fraudulent, don’t fall for this scam.

Several posts on Facebook claim that the “Nigeria Customs Service authorized auctioning is ongoing”.

One post, dated 3 April 2024, reads, in part: “The Nigeria Customs service 2024  Auctions Is Up and Granting Nigerians the Privilege to Own a Vehicle at Affordable prices. And also the sales of foreign impounded rice are on sales at the rate of #20,500, #8,000 for a keg of groundnut oil and also all types of ELECTRONICS are available for sale.”

The post includes a video showing a set of cars. The text on the video reads: “NIGERIA CUSTOMS 2024 YEARLY AUCTIONS”.

Interested buyers are asked to contact the mobile number shown in the video. 

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is responsible for collecting and accounting for revenue, preventing and suppressing smuggling of goods into and out of the country.

In January, the agency resumed the auctioning of abandoned cars and goods on its e-auction platform. Details and guidelines for the e-auction process are available on the NCS website.

Similar posts, claiming to publicise customs auctions, can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But are these auctions legit?

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‘Scam alert,’ says customs agency

In December 2023, Africa Check debunked fake Facebook accounts posing as Nigeria Customs Service.  

The posts in question this time around have similar red flags. For example, those interested are asked to contact the phone number provided. However, auctions are usually open to the public and involve selling to the highest bidder.

We checked the verified Facebook page of the Nigeria Customs Service and couldn’t find a single post on car auctions. The agency does not have a Facebook page dedicated to the auction of confiscated items.

On 19 April 2024, the government agency warned users about the car auction scam.

“The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) wishes to alert the general public on a video with scandalous narration announcing a purported auction of vehicles. It is important to note that electronic auction of vehicles and other items is conducted only via,” the NCS said.

The agency advised users to rely on its verified social media pages and other communication channels for genuine updates.

Africa Check contacted the agency’s media team, who confirmed that the posts were a scam. 

There is an ongoing e-auction in Nigeria Customs Service. For registration, kindly visit Please beware of scammers. The service does not do auctions on Facebook but on our official auction site,” the team said.

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