The internet among other inventions of man is one of the useful and
greatest inventions that have really impacted on the world at large. The
internet makes things easier and brings the world together in what seems
like one room just at a click on a button. With the help of a computer or a
smart phone, you are linked to any part of the world you choose to
communicate to someone with ease.
The internet is filled with good and bad activities, but human beings never
cease to increase the bad over the good.
Any website you need to visit on the internet, all you need is to open your
address bar and type in, World Wide Web (WWW), the name of the website and
dot-come and you are linked.
While the benefits from the internet, social media are numerous, the bad
sides keep rising by the day.
My urge to write on this came urgently due to my past, recent experiences
and observations about social media and the internet as a whole.
Fourteen years ago, when I was new in the affairs of the internet, I ran
into a fraudster who wanted to have me duped. Yahoo messenger and Email
messaging was the popular means of interaction that I knew as at then.
One of the days, I opened my email box to be welcomed by an email that
sound too good to be true. In the message, my full name was addressed. I
was told that I had won a raffle draw and would be paid Two Hundred
Thousand Pounds. I was amazed and started thinking of what to do with the
money when finally received and converted to Nigerian currency.
The fraudster gave me a name and an email address which I was told to send
a message that he is the person in charge of remitting my money to my bank
account. I actually sent a mail to that email address and as quickly as
possible I received a reply from the person. The drama continued to unfold
to a point where insurance certificate and another certificate bearing my
name and the amount I was meant to be paid were sent to me. Everything
became so real and I kept it to myself. Then I was asked to supply some
vital information on my bank account. Unfortunately, I had no bank account
then, so I suggested they post the money to me using the address I
supplied. The young man later opened up to me. In his words: “You are lucky
that you did not supply me with your bank details. I’m a Nigerian like you.
We are out there for the white men and their dollars. Next time, you have
to be careful the way you browse the internet”. I was astonished at this
point to what made him open up to me.
Today, internet fraud seems to have become the norm and if these impostors
and fraudsters are not succeeding, they won’t be trying the more.
One of the social media networks that accommodates a large number of
impostors now, is Facebook.
These impostors use the picture and full name of popular celebrities in the
society and the world, be it a musician or a movie actor or actress to
create a Facebook profile. In most cases, they use that of an influential
politician. Once you add them up and they accept your friendship request,
they will be the one asking you questions thus: “Name five of my movies you
have watch”. Each question has it followed up which ordinarily cannot be
type within the space of time you receive them. If you supply the answer to
that question, then the next will be the prize you have won for answering
correctly and a name and phone number to call to claim your prize. Some
will ask you if you want to join Nollywood movie industry and of course
your answer may be yes. The same kind of massage will arrive requesting you
to call a particular number who will guide you on how to register and
become a member.
Usually, they have few or more picture of the person they are impersonating
on their profile.
Recently, I met one of the impostors in the name of one of the popular and
influential Nigeria politicians. He asked me what I do for a living, I told
him, and then he asked me if I could work in one of the oil companies he
mentioned that is based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He claimed that he
had slots for job there presently and that he could offer me one of the
positions. I said okay and acted like I needed the job so much. He further
gave me a contact and a name telling me to call the number as early as 8:
AM, tell the person that I called on his direction for a better listening
ear and then get back to him after my conversation with the person. I then
requested for his contact which he declined giving out with the excuse that
I know how bad the country is. So a man of his status feels insecure to
release his contact to me for security reasons.
The long messages came in seconds, and then I was fully convinced that,
they were already typed and stored in the system for the manipulation of
When I searched Facebook with the same political figure’s name, I realized
that over 6 accounts were created in his name.
Beyond every reasonable doubt, this politician may not be the one operating
The other who claimed to be a Nollywood actor asked me to name five of his
movies. I did with fun. And he further gave me a name and phone number to
call for my prize. When I called the number, my true caller application
displayed the name as “FRAUD”. Then still chatting with the impostor, I
told him what my true caller said. Till date, he never replied.
How can I forget in a hurry the incident that occurred when the popular
Nollywood actor, Muna Obiekwe died and his impostor refused to die with him.
When the news filtered in, the impostor denied it saying that he was alive.
Probably he was not fully aware about the truth that the person he has been
using his name to dupe people and commit other crimes had died truly. When
the truth became obvious to him about the death of Muna Obiekwe. he came to
the same social media handle and accepted the fact that Muna was dead and
that he has been an impostor.
Before you get so carried away by that new celebrity friend you have found
on Facebook, twitter or any other social media network, be sure that you
are linked to the right person.
The pictures of these public figures are all over the internet for easy
access. And Facebook does not reject opening of an account with the same
name over and over again. There are also no restrictions to uploading of
any kind of picture once your account has been created on Facebook. When
you have these tips and more, then you will hardly fall victim of the cheap
fraud going on the internet. You will be able to understand that anyone can
be anybody he or she claims to be on the social media network.
Some of these popular public figures are too busy to be on social media in
the first place. Though, I have few of them who I know their accounts are
genuine both from the movie, musical and political angle because I
communicate with them also on phone to affirm our interactions on social
The impostors of movie actors and actresses and other popular figures may
only have the intent of defrauding their victims of their money while on
the other angles, some people have actually lost their lives through their
association with people met on Facebook and other social media.
Ladies fall victim the more in this regard. A lady would travel all the way
from Abuja for an instance to Lagos just to see a man for the first time.
It’s not bad to have such amount of trust only if the person is genuine.
But how can you be too sure. As some have ended up being declared missing,
ganged raped, killed in a hotel room and so on by the person or persons
they had been chatting with on Facebook at their visit. Some become useless
after having that encounter maybe with a fetish man. Who lives them dead
but alive after sleeping with them and robbing them of their destiny. Some
have even ended their relationship which has been moving fine because of a
lady or a man they met on Facebook who they are not sure of their genuine
For a lady to travel all the way from Abuja to Lagos to meet a man like I
gave as an instance, she is obviously ready to sleep over wherever the man
chooses for the them to be.
Hard work and wealth are not meant for the men alone. A lady can also rise
above the standard of being at the demanding circle of a man. You earn
yourself more respect when you are not a liability as a woman. A man will
not take you on full ride if you have something to offer close to measure
up with what he has to offer. Some ladies in our society like Linda Ikeji,
the blogger is one among other ladies who live an exemplary life that
proves that ladies can do it through hard work. I think most Nigerian
ladies have become so lazy and filled their thoughts with myopic thinking.
Some have the belief that all that they can offer to the world to get to
wherever they aspire in life is their body. Truly, some ladies are making
money through the use of their body. But when you get close to such a
person, you will realize that any clothe that is worn all the time without
a break must wear out. From the skin of such a person you can tell.
One thing about Christmas is the fact that its celebration never ends. It’s
a continual thing. But life when lost cannot be regained to see another
The Yuletide is around the corner, wisdom is a gift but yet not everyone
applies it. Common sense is not common.
We need to be at alert whenever we find ourselves on the internet. Like a
saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold”. And life has no duplicate
among other things you may lose on the social media, if you are not careful
I rest my pen.