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RIB warns public against WhatsApp fraudsters

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has issued a public notice warning the general public against the growing number of fraudsters who use WhatsApp to swindle money from unsuspecting victims.

In the notice, issued on Thursday, the bureau stated that its investigators have established that the fraudsters use the victim’s WhatsApp contacts to install WhatsApp in their handsets without the latter’s knowledge.

 

This is the second time RIB is warning the public over the same case, since last year in June.

 

WhatsApp is one of the most popular social media applications used by many people in the country, with urban areas having the highest number.

 

Among the tricks used, RIB says that fraudsters install WhatsApp in their phone using the victim’s contact information then switch the latter’s existing WhatsApp account.

After that, fraudsters are able to get full access to their victim’s account.

Fraudsters hence begin soliciting money from the victim’s phone contacts by calling friends in the latter’s contacts list requesting them to send money, in a pledge that they would pay back after busy commitments.

RIB encouraged anyone who had fallen victim to the scammers or noticing suspicious activities in this regard to report to the nearest station for further investigation.

“A team of deployed investigators from RIB are tracking down these culprits to face justice and to prevent further cybercrimes,” reads part of the public notice.

“We encourage the general public not to share their WhatsApp credentials to any individuals who asks for them through phone calls because scammers use them for WhatsApp identity theft.”

However, RIB also pointed out, “They (scammers) call and disguise themselves as Irembo staff claiming to have mistakenly sent verification codes to the victims’ contacts and ask to be forwarded the codes”

This is another way in which they steal money from the victim’s contacts.

Besides, RIB also appealed to the public to be cautious with sudden requests for transfer of money through Mobile Money.

The investigation bureau announced a toll-free number 166 that the public can call to report any related cases.

eashimwe@newtimesrwanda.com

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