Today I had an encounter with a scam artist on Facebook. I had to play along with his game and get to know exactly what he was after. You see accepting new friend requests is risky oftentimes. This is a friend request that I accepted yesterday and today the account was all chatting with me.
The conversation went well as shown in the screenshot below until the person started asking for a favor of $200 that should be sent to his car agent to buy fuel and bring his car from Malaba.
The person behind the Cloned Account claimed to be in Khartoum for official duties.
Come on, anyone would get misled by this cloned account. This is a cloned account of Jacob Aligo, On Wikipedia, Jacob Aligo is described as a South Sudanese Politician. The Minister of Finance & Economic Development of Central Equatoria in South Sudan since 2005. But also it takes a fool to believe that a whole minister will require your help given the magnitude of delegates he has.
So keeping all that in mind, when asked about my location, I simply said Kampala. Getting to know that I was in Kampala, he asked me for a small favor, that I should send his car agent the $200. And I responded positively.
I requested his information including the Khartoum phone number and Juba phone number.
He sent me the Juba phone number which he claimed I can only call on Friday when he is back from Khartoum and instead sent me a Ugandan number he termed as for the driver called Emmanuel and asked me to call him immediately.
When I called the number, the person first hesitated because I used a South Sudan line to make the call when he was actually expecting to be called using a Ugandan line. On picking up, I introduced myself and he narrated the whole metaphor just as the cloned account communicated to me.
Our agreement was that I will send the money immediately
Instead, I kept him waiting until the cloned account messaged me to confirm whether I actually communicated with his car agent. So I revealed the truth that I know the real Jacob Aligo and whoever is behind the cloned Account should stop scamming people.
Take a glimpse of our conversation below:
However, this is not the first time I came across these naïve scams on Facebook.
I have ever come across a Scamming Scholarship Facebook Account that claimed to offer scholarships to South Sudanese at all levels of education. It called itself ESCOFI run by a Cloned Facebook Account of a lady called Elizabeth Tompkins.
The scholarship model looked so legitimate. Nevertheless, it was a friend who applied and went through that introduced me to it.
So I followed the process of application where I had to fill out application forms and got back a confirmation that I was accepted for the scholarship.
You can imagine the joy I heard.
The final stage was to send $25 as the application fee to the university. No scholarship will require you to pay any sum, whatsoever. When I cautioned this, I was threatened to be removed from the scholarship program. That’s when I got to know I was dealing with a scholarship scam.
The other scamming scholarship program I came across calls itself Taban Deng Nhial Scholarship.
I never bothered to find out more about it but from its model, I could tell that they were actually scams.
And this is not all, I have friends on Facebook whose accounts get cloned and others get hacked out of the blue.
The other type of Scam I came across, is where you get a friend out of the blue on Facebook, especially for the ladies saying that they want to send you gifts in form of iPhones, iPad, and laptops among others, and in the package is lump sum amount of money that he doesn’t want the authorities to find out and asks you to send a particular sum using Western Union
The similarity with all these scams is the Cloned Accounts are always asking for money. They will narrate a sorrowful story to get empathy and ask you for a particular sum of money. It’s even worse when they hack your account and start sending all your friends the same message.
Scams happen almost in every part of the world but here is food for thought for the South Sudanese.
With all the Scam related Stories I have come across, there always exists a Ugandan number and a South Sudanese Number. But the primary number is always the Ugandan number.
So the question goes “Is it Ugandans scamming South Sudanese?”
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