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Scam Syndicate: How Accounts Belonging To Ojo Lasisi And Hyacinth Chinedu Ugwu Were Used To Extort Money From A Victim Of Whatsapp Scam

Secrets Reporters

In recent times, WhatsApp has gained widespread popularity and has become a leading means of communication widely accepted by the majority of people. The increasing acceptability is so vast that companies and government organisations have adopted it as their official communication channel and even hold official meetings on the platform.

WhatsApp has been the target of hackers and scammers, with many users losing their WhatsApp accounts to these hackers. These hackers intend to take control of your account, and while impersonating you, they send messages to your contacts asking for a certain amount of money to sort out some issues in a bid to extort your unsuspecting contacts of their hard-earned money.

This was the case of Queen (surname withheld), a resident of Chika, a community located along the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Expressway axis of Abuja, who fell victim to a WhatsApp hack and scam on 17 May 2024. In her case, the perpetrators got away with over 200,000 naira. According to her, upon the closure of work on Friday May 17, she noticed that she could not access her WhatsApp account. Although she was sent a code to her email, which she ignored, she lamented that she did not understand how they had access to her account without the code, which she never disclosed to anybody.

However, she was shocked to wake up to a call from some of her contacts, informing her that they had sent the money she had requested. It was discovered that, having succeeded in taking control of her account, the perpetrators, while disguising themselves as her, started extorting her contacts, asking them for a certain amount of money. Her contacts, believing she was the one sending the message, responded to the request without knowing that her WhatsApp had already been hacked.

The perpetrators sent different account numbers to her contacts, asking them to send a certain amount of money to the account, as they were unable to make transfers due to network challenges. She disclosed that three of her contacts sent a total sum of 90,000 naira (in batches of 50,000 naira, 30,000 naira, and 10,000 naira) to a Palmpay account with account number 9551112555 and account name Hyacinth Chinedu Ugwu. She revealed that another of her contacts was asked to pay 50,000 naira to an Access bank account with the account name Ojo Lasisi and account number 1417416013.

She revealed that as soon as payments were made, the perpetrators deleted their charts containing the account details they sent.

Below are screenshots of some of the chats and evidence of payment made to the account provided by the hackers:

Image showing chart between the victims contact and the hacker
Image showing evidence of payment to the account sent by the hacker

The victim disclosed that she called all her contacts one after the other, informing them of her hacked WhatsApp account and discouraging them from sending money to anyone making requests using her WhatsApp account.

She noted that some of her contacts who had already made payments when she informed them of the incident went to their bank to complain. They were informed by their bank that the money had already been moved to another account and that they should complain to the police for proper investigations to be carried out.

It is important to note that hackers can break into WhatsApp by tricking users into giving away verification codes, using spyware, sending malware as attachments, or even cloning your phone or WhatsApp account. However, an attack is successful only after you interact with the attacker in some way, such as clicking on a link, downloading a file, or responding to a message. Therefore, when you receive a suspicious message, the best action is to report and delete it.

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