crossorigin="anonymous"> WhatsApp Fraudsters Arrested for Over GH₵200,000 Theft in Account Takeover Scam - Bricy Boateng
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WhatsApp Fraudsters Arrested for Over GH₵200,000 Theft in Account Takeover Scam



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In a recent development, security agencies in Ghana have successfully apprehended two individuals allegedly involved in a significant WhatsApp hack crime, resulting in the theft of over GH₵200,000. The suspects, identified as Abdul Latif Abubakar, 22, and Mahammudu Araafat Yasir, 24, were captured at their hideout locations in Langbensi and Gambaga within the North East Region. The operation, which involved collaboration between the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), the Ghana Police Service, and other agencies, was initiated following a report by a Ghanaian resident based in the United States concerning a WhatsApp Account Takeover.

The suspects employed a sophisticated scheme whereby they gained unauthorized access to WhatsApp accounts, commonly referred to as WhatsApp Account Takeover. This nefarious practice involves obtaining a user’s phone number and the accompanying 6-digit verification code, typically sent via SMS or phone call during the registration or re-registration process of a WhatsApp account. Through various deceptive tactics such as compromised WhatsApp groups, impersonation, phishing attempts, or the deployment of spyware, the hackers managed to acquire the verification codes and subsequently take control of unsuspecting users’ accounts.

Once in control, the perpetrators exploited the compromised accounts to reach out to the victim’s contacts, soliciting funds under false pretenses. Investigations revealed that the proceeds from the illicit activities amounted to over two hundred thousand Ghana Cedis, with the possibility of additional funds stored in other mobile money (momo) and bank accounts.

The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) had previously issued warnings to the public regarding the surge in WhatsApp Account Takeover incidents, dating back to December 2022 and intensifying in April 2023. These alerts highlighted the growing trend of individuals falling victim to social engineering tactics, leading to the unwitting disclosure of verification codes to malicious actors.

The apprehension of Abdul Latif Abubakar and Mahammudu Araafat Yasir marks a significant milestone in the fight against cybercrime in Ghana. Both suspects are currently in custody, cooperating with security and intelligence agencies as investigations continue. Authorities remain vigilant in their efforts to combat such fraudulent activities, emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity awareness and caution among the general populace.

Credit: theghanareport

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