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BE AWARE OF ONLINE HACKERS AND FRAUDSTERS.  Salone Messenger’s CEO Sallu Kamuskay exposes online hackers and fraudster.

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BE AWARE OF ONLINE HACKERS AND FRAUDSTERS. Salone Messenger's CEO Sallu Kamuskay exposes online hackers and fraudste

BE AWARE OF ONLINE HACKERS AND FRAUDSTERS. Salone Messenger’s CEO Sallu Kamuskay exposes online hackers and fraudsters .

Three weeks ago, a popular fraudster using the name and posing as one Ms Claire Lynch, a publisher at Bored Panda, a leading art and pop culture magazine which is viewed nearly 100 million times every month attempted to defraud and exploit our Salone Messenger platform.

The said Claire Lynch reached out to me about Facebook advertisement that he/she wanted to share their articles on our Facebook through a Facebook publishing tool call instant articles. He/She said to me: “Are you open for paid Advertisement Article on your Facebook Fan Page? l will pay good amount on a weekly basis.If yes, please get back to me here or at Facebook. Note: We don’t need any kind of adminship/access to your page. I will give you the articles from this site. www.Boredpanda.com. You must publish 3 articles a day through instant Facebook articles. $ 100 per item $ 300 to $ 320 for 3 items per day. Whatever payment method suits you (Paypal, Western Union, Payoneer,Bitcoin, bank account)” she wrote to me on WhatAapp.

 

He/she shares with me the link I can use to activate the Instant article on my page and stating that he/she is going to pay $100 per post.

 

I received a message through my on Whatsapp and a man introducing himself as Claire Lynche, a popular publisher at Bored Panda. He told me he would like to advertise on my page.

For me, this was a welcoming news, especially when he told me that he was going to pay me $320 per week. I have never had such opportunity where a client will pay me such amount of money. He /She wanted to share their articles on our Facebook through a Facebook publishing tool call instant articles, “Are you open for Paid Advertisement Article on your Facebook Fan Page? l will pay good amount weekly on a  basis.If yes, please get back to me here or at Facebook. Note: We don’t need any kind of adminship/access to your page. I will give you the articles from this site. www.Boredpanda.com. You must publish 3 articles a day through instant Facebook articles. $ 100 per item $ 300 to $ 320 for 3 items per day. What payment method suits you (Paypal, Western Union, Payoneer,Bitcoin,bank account)” she wrote me on WhatAapp.”

 

Claire Lynch followed up and wrote that I will not give her access to my page, and to persuade me, she sent me her/his  Identification card with her/his name,  and also a short video of herself/himself.

 

He knew quite a few things about me. He said he would be working for Bored Panda (who’s featured my work and who I’ve been in touch with quite a few times over the years) and there was a possibility to combine my posts with ads and earn a little extra money this way.

 

I asked about references as I was skeptical the whole time, but finally, I agreed to give it a try for a week.

 

He sent me an invitation to Facebook Business Manager, which I copied to a text editor and after that to a Google Chrome Incognito session. It was definitely an address that pointed to the Facebook Business Manager, but I guess it was not my own but a prepared one to which I was given admin rights for the moment. Strange things happened , I checked the roles in the dashboard and I could only see myself as an administrator.

 

He/she asked me to add my Facebook site, and later on he would tell me the source to add for the advertising catalogue.

I added my site, because I was absolutely sure this business manager was “my” business manager, and as long as I didn’t add another source or another person nothing bad could happen. But something bad had already happened…

In the background another admin was lurking, and this admin would drop me off the site a little later (as you no doubt already figured out).

 

 

After adding my site, I got a strange feeling somehow. I don’t know exactly why. Claire Lynch’s performance was perfect, clearly social engineering at its finest. But something was wrong. I wrote a message to my partner in London, and explained to him about this strange things I encountered with this hacker. I  asked if he could verify this person and that if he actually works for this company. The answer was shocking “be careful, it is a scam, don’t give access to your page” my business partner in London warned.

I got back to the fraudster via WhatsApp and told him/her that he/she was a scam, and that he/she wanted to take over my page.

He/she further persuaded me by sharing identify Card and a video. I got back to my partner in London and shared with him the information the  said fraudster shared with me. My business partner then told me that we should investigate and expose him. He told me to ask fraudster for his office address in London. I then sent the message to the fraudster who replied to me with the address.  I shared the address with my business partner address. The email address checked via Google earth and what came out was Shopping Mall Centre:68 Scotswood Road Honington, in Newcastle NE4 7AW.  But the fraudster had stated that the office is baseed in London but for us to found out that the address is actually in Newcastle, which is outside of London.

 

How such a big company could operates their office in a shopping mall? This was becoming interesting as my business partner in London further suggested that I ask the fraudster to do a video call with me. I did and requested for a video call but the fraudster told me that he/she is at work and not allowed to do video call.

 

This was around 6 AM in the UK. How could he she be at the office at time? I then checked Facebook and searched for the name provided by the fraudster (Claire Lynch).  The name was on Facebook and it was a name. This is the name of an innocent person. This was the name actually used by the fraudster. I then added the Facebook account and sent a message asking if he/she was the one trying to contact me on WhatSapp Facebook instant articles. The person said yes. For one moment, I was confused and for another moment I felt a little bit comfortable with this fraudster.

 

I then got back to my partner in London and told him that the fraudster had replied to my message on Facebook and is account on Facebook looks so real. My business partner in London then told me send him a message and tell him that my partner  lives around the  address provided by fraudster in the UK and that someone is   coming to the fraudster’s office now to meet and  sort things out.

I messaged the fraudster and told him/her that my partner is on his way coming to the office.

 

The frauderst never replied and never got back to me. The fraudster sent me the following messages

 

“But you don’t seems to be interested and I think you have some trust issue .I know it is hard to trust someone but everyone is not the same person. If you don’t trust me (so that’s why I sent you my US passport and National ID to prove to you that I am not fake or something). I  have a a lot of work to do .When you have some faith then you can contact me again. I won’t force you to do this . The Facebook page is yours and it is up to you that you want to advertise or not. It will be your decision not mine.If you don’t want to work that’s okay by me.It is a business deal and  I  am just offering if you want to proceed or not let me know .I will be waiting take your time. Have a good day”

 

Even when I told fraudster that my partner in London had visited the office and is trying to reach him, he never replied to my messages. He fraudster never got back to me to meet with my partner.

 

This was how they nearly hacked our company Facebook page. Our page could have gone by now. Our Facebook page with over 29,000 followers would have been in the hands of terrible hackers who could have used our page to contact our clients and fraud them. Thank God, we were saved by our business partner, a lawyer based in England.

 

 

To you reading this message, please note that there are hackers all over the world. I have seen couple of messages of people complaining on Facebook that their companies’ pages have been hacked, and they have lost huge amount of money and clients.

 

I am  writing to you this message to protect you, never give access to strange persons who asking for your business manager page. They will send to you fake ID cards , videos of themselves. This is  all fraud. We were saved by business partner who is a Media and Law Guru. He knows the fraudsters.

 

So be careful and be ware.

 

Sallu Kamuskay

CEO, Salone Messenger

Salone Messenger

Salone Messenger is a Global Multimedia and Public Relation Firm that brings young emerging leaders, bloggers, activists, and storytellers to tell inspiring stories of change-makers and build a community of young people telling human interest stories using smartphones.

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