Former senator and Lagos commissioner, Tokunbo Afikuyomi has narrated how some scammers hacked his phone line and temporarily seized control of his WhatsApp account yesterday.
Afikuyomi who narrated his experience in a statement he personally signed on Sunday said some of his friends were defrauded of various sums amounting to millions of naira
The narration reads in part: “They then sent fraudulent messages to some of my contacts requesting that they transfer some money on my behalf.
“Many of my friends so contacted quickly called me up on the regular phone while some others spoke with my aides to alert me. However, unfortunately, a few others did not suspect that anything was wrong. They innocently complied with the fake request and made transfers of millions of naira to the various account numbers in different banks supplied by the scammers.
“The phone number of the fraudsters which is being used to perpetrate this crime on WhatsApp is – 0903 – 832 – 6507 assigned to one AJAYE JAJI, purporting to be Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi.
“In all, money amounting to several millions of naira was transferred into various bank accounts including the following:
• OBINNA EMMANUEL
• BOLUM EMEKA GABRIEL
• TAIWO ASANAT MOSHOOD
• DAVID ADESINA ODEYEMI
• BOLUM EMEKA GABRIEL
6. NDAGI GARBA
“I immediately complained to the relevant security and regulatory agencies and I thank the Anti-Fraud unit of the police for springing into action immediately. Their efforts led to identifying some of the account numbers and the details of the respective owners through which the scammers collected various sums of money. The security agents are also already deploying technology to geo-locate the perpetrators. Investigations by relevant agencies are still ongoing”.
Meanwhile, Afikuyomi said he has suspended the use of his WhatsApp number till the authorities can conclude their investigations and can now put more security measures in place to protect the line.
He said: “I can only be reached through regular phone calls on the same number. I CALL ON ALL MY FRIENDS, ASSOCIATES, AND CONTACTS TO IGNORE ANY REQUEST FOR THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FOR WHATEVER REASONS PURPORTEDLY MADE ON MY BEHALF THROUGH WHATSAPP, TELEPHONE CALLS, OR EMAIL.
“I must at this stage express my dismay with the lack of due diligence in the bank account opening and maintenance system in our country. This is what has come out so far in the investigation of this phone hacking scam. The scammers opened so many bank accounts without supplying the banks with the necessary security checks and details required by the law. In the same manner, it is now obvious that some of the Over the Top Media Services (OTT) providers do not fully comply with the provision of Nigeria’s Data Privacy and Protection Laws.
“I hereby express my determination to do everything within the law to smash this evil syndicate that has brought pains and tears to many people within Nigeria and those in the diaspora.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank everyone whose prompt response is helping to reduce the impact of this weekend scam. The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, Minister of Interior, Mr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, Director General of the National Financial Intelligence Agency (NFIA), Mallam Modibo Hamman Tukur, and the Deputy Governor (Corporate Services), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Bala Bello, deserve special mention for their efforts in unveiling the perpetrators of this crime. This crime is an indication of the perilous times that we live in when the technology that was invented to make life easy for all of us has also become a source of endangering our lives and properties”.
Afikuyomi called on members of the public to be more careful, cautious, and discerning in responding to some of the messages being sent to us purportedly by our acquaintances, adding that it is usually good to double-check with the supposed source of the message, particularly if it involves a request for a transfer of money.
“This is the reality of the new age of technology in which we live. It has come with its impersonal, impassioned, distrustful and distasteful challenges.
“May God heal our land, and the world, and continue to protect us all” Afikuyomi prayed