Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has issued a public notice warning the general public against fraudsters who are using WhatsApp to extort money from unsuspecting victims.
In the notice issued Wednesday, the Bureau also stated that its investigators had established that the same fraudsters use the victims’ WhatsApp numbers to install WhatsApp in their handsets without the latter’s knowledge.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular social media applications used by many people in the country, especially those living in urban areas.
RIB says that fraudsters use tricks of installing WhatsApp in their phone using the victim’s phone number and after they immediately switch off the latter’s WhastApp.
The fraudsters then get full access to their victims’ WhatsApp and have all the victim’s contacts.
Then the fraudsters begin soliciting money from phone contacts by calling friends of the victims asking to send money to the provided numbers promising to pay back after busy commitments.
“They also call and disguise themselves as Irembo staff claiming to have mistakenly sent verification codes to the victims’ numbers and ask to be forwarded the codes,” RIB said.
They then use the codes to steal money from the victim’s contacts.
RIB called upon anyone who had fallen victim to these scammers or noticing suspicious activities in this regard to report to any nearest RIB station for further investigation.
“A team of investigators from RIB are tracking down these culprits to face Justice and to prevent other cybercrimes,” reads the public notice.
“We urge the public not to share their WhatsApp credentials or codes to anyone who ask for them through phone calls or any other ways as scammers use these credentials for WhatsApp identity theft,” the notice adds.
RIB also appeal to members of the Public to be cautious with sudden requests to transfer money through Mobile Money from members within their phone contacts.
It provided 166 as the toll-free number that the public can call to report any related cases.