The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
With the emergence of the likes of Fiverr, Amazon, AliExpress, Jumia, Jiji, Konga among others, in the world global market, leveraging the opportunities of technology, social media platforms and the internet have to offer, people are migrating to buy all their goods and services online since it is stress-free, easy and may sometimes be cheaper. But what many don’t know is scammers follow people to everywhere they go.
In March, an Instagram clothes vendor was reportedly dead in a hotel room after meeting with a customer she met online. Read here.
A suspect connected to the case has been arrested, however, many similar cases of people falling prey of scammers or murderers on social media have been replete. Like for example, PIJAlance had reported in a Forbes story that Murderer Targets Pregnant Moms In Facebook Private Group, Moderators Claim Ignorance.
Cyber criminals are a bunch of homeless chaps who live where humans dwell. They are following you, all around and everywhere you perch your tent, they will stay. This is why you need to be extra careful on the internet when dealing with people.
Ms Kazeem, a recent graduate, waiting to serve in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has just been allegedly scammed of a sum of 105k through a business transaction online. Until now, no one knows how she will be refunded.
Ms Kazeem who is among many other Whatssap clothes, bags and shoes vendors, is a seller of the above who was looking for where to get a cheaper rate of goods online when she met with these scammers who pose as wholesalers.
According to her lamenting statement, she visited Facebook for a wholesaler and found a page called Blessing Collection.
She chatted with the individual behind the business and was referred through a new Whatssap line back to Blessing Collection’s Whatssap DM.
After a long chat, Ms Kazeem collected money from her customers who had individually ordered for goods to be delivered to them, and deposited all the money with a sum of 92k in the Palmpay account with the name, Ayomide Aina.
After the successful deposit of the money, Blessing Collection or Ayomide Aina’s smooth conversation with Ms Kazeem grew docile and graduated to a taciturnity—Blessing Collection decided not to not give her a reply, again, until this moment of filing this report. But she reads her messages and posts on status (hopefully, hoping to lure more unsuspecting people).
Not enough, with the urge to deliver goods to customers, Ms Kazeem consulted another Facebook wholesaler who identified as Auto Deal Discount Sales. She told Me Kazeem that she was Esther and that she was into the business with her husband.
She sent an Opay account number of her husband with the name Benjamin Clement to her. Ms Kazeem sent a sum of 13k to the account after a successful bargain of deals.
After the successful payment, Esther and Clement blocked Ms Kazeem on WhatsApp. She used another number to chat them and the moment they learnt it was her, they blocked her again.
It is essential to note that while cyber frauders may never leave our sides for a second, our consistent awareness of our environment and sensitivity matters towards issues and our dealings online.
Aside from the corporate companies who have landing pages and are selling or buying on social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are not social media platforms to find buyers or sellers, per se. Even if you find sellers or buyers of your desired goods or services, you need to verify them by simply checking their page, their past posts, their consistency, comments of the people, reviews of the people and in fact, make use of other social platforms to check up their names.
A scammer is not always well-established on all social platforms. If it will be, it will be his/her platform of scam.
If while transacting you’re asked to transfer the conversation to the WhatsApp. You need to be very careful.
Most scammers do so because they believe Whatssap is safe for their financial fraud perpetration.
To know if they’re actually a scammer, you can make use of an app like the Truecaller to find out their number’s real identity if it tallies or different from the name they gave you. Whenever you see different names, or hear “me and my husband,” “me and my friend’s business,” the language is very simple, kindly, take a leap of faith.
Above all, your instinct matters.
Until now, no one knows the whereabouts of both of them. This is why PIJAlance is soliciting if anyone could help Ms Kazeem, currently, she is devastated and doesn’t know how to sort her customers.