Friday 20 September 2019

How Hackers Hijacked My WhatsApp Account and How I was able to Recover It

Most days in one's life follow a particular routine and are usually uneventful. Some days, however, stand out - they are usually very eventful and memorable.

Thursday 12th September 2019 was one of those memorable days for me. It is a day I would probably not forget in a long while - albeit for the wrong reasons.

It started out as any normal routine day would. I woke up, got dressed and went out to conduct my business, looking for my daily bread. At the close of business, I returned home, had something to munch and went to bed. Routine right? Naaaa!

I woke up around 9:45pm to see a notification from the social messaging app (WhatsApp) on my phone that my phone number was no longer registered to my WhatsApp account. I was dazed. How could this be? Or was I still sleeping? Then it occurred to me that my WhatsApp account had most likely been hacked into.

An hacker lurking around to hack a WhatsApp phone
A WhatsApp Phone Hacher

I rushed out of the bedroom to meet my wife who was in the living room. The following conversations transpired between us:

Me: Honey, I received a strange notification from WhatsApp, could you send me a WhatsApp message from your phone, please? 

Wifey: (picking up her phone): Did you change your number dear?  WhatsApp is notifying me that your number has changed to a business account number. 
Me: Change number? Of course, not! I did no such thing! Could you please send a message through? 

Wifey: (types a short message on her WhatsApp and sends to my number)

She instantly got a reply from someone using my name, profile picture and number. The person was asking her to join an Investment group using my name! That confirmed my fears - my WhatsApp account had indeed been hacked into, and now the hacker has access to and is actually sending fraudulent messages to my contacts.

On hijacking my account, pronto the hacker set to work. He went through my messages and took control of my WhatsApp groups (and I belong to quite a number - from Old Secondary and University Students fora to Business affiliate groups to Church groups! Even my village town hall group was not spared), the hacker took over everything. In taking over my WhatsApp account and making himself Admin over my groups, he kicked me out of all the groups I belonged to and started impersonating me by sending messages to my contacts using my name. 

The groups I created and was the Administrator, he instantly had administrator privileges and starting converting them for his own selfish, fraudulent purposes.

He, for instance, took over one of Church groups I created and converted it to one "Grace Investments platform". Automatically, everyone who was a member of that original group became members of his fraudulent group and they started receiving messages from him. Messages like the ones shown below:

Fraudulent invite from the WhatsApp hackers to join their fraudulent financial scheme

Needless to say that some of my contacts started bombarding my phone with calls trying to understand what was going on. Others were sending text messages and some WhatsApp messages.

Meanwhile, in a bid to recover my account from the hacker, I got wind of WhatsApp's 2-step verification procedure from my wife. She said she got it from one of the women groups she belonged to and thought that I knew about it.

The verification procedure is very simple. I urge ANY of my esteemed readers who have not taken this very crucial step in securing their WhatsApp accounts to do so without fail right now. Kindly follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Click on the three vertical dots at the top right of your WhatsApp screen.
  2. A drop-down menu of options should open. Select 'Settings'
  3. In the next menu of options that opens, select 'Account'
  4. Then select the 'Two-step Verification' option.
  5. Create and input a 6-digit PIN number.
  6. Confirm the Pin you entered in step 5, by entering it again.
  7. Finally, input your email address and click on 'Save'.
Voila, you are done! With those simple steps outlined above, you have fortified your WhatsApp account from any intruder or hacker. WhatsApp will randomly request for your 6-digit PIN anytime the app is opened and if the correct PIN isn't supplied, WhatsApp will automatically lock the app, safeguarding your contacts and messages.

With the two-step verification set up and enabled on my WhatsApp, I was able to recover my account from the hacker. That notwithstanding, the damage had been done. Within the space of about an hour, he had infiltrated most of my groups like a virus, kicked out other admins including myself and enthroned himself as the sole administrator.

He then went on to invite other members of his cartel to the groups and started inviting people to his fraudulent investment schemes.

I have taken the liberty to screenshot the contact list of one of the hijacked groups to highlight the phone numbers of these hackers. I, however, suspect that these phone numbers have also been hijacked from their original unsuspecting owners.

I went a step further by engaging the hackers, pretending to be interested in their fraudulent scheme. By the way, the scheme is a money doubling scheme where the hackers ask you to invest a certain amount of money and get double your investments within 30 minutes to an hour.

My private investigation was done by contacting the numbers of the group admins listed above first via text messages and later via calls.

I asked how they can turn around money in such a short timeframe. In response, the number with the display name - Charity (who introduced herself as Mrs Rebecca) said they deal in Bitcoins and Cryptocurrencies and the 'investments' made by unsuspecting people are channelled into Cryptocurrency trading which they turn around, making 300% profit which they share in the ratio of 2:1. Hmmm, 300% profit in 15-20 minutes? All blatant lies.

The identities and phone numbers uncovered due to my private investigations are as shown below:

  • +2348144593138 - Charity aka Mrs Rebecca
  • +2348109438789 - Balogun Matthew aka Mr Femi
  • +2349035755026 - Mrs Abiola Halimat aka Mrs Rebecca
  • +2348025949043 - Samson is the chief hacker who hijacked my WhatsApp line. I have since blacklisted him on Truecaller.

Again I suspect that these phone numbers have been hacked from their original owners. The first names stated ( that is Charity, Balogun Matthew, Mrs Abiola Halimat and Samson) are the display names on the WhatsApp profiles. I suspect they are the real names of the original owners. The 'aka' are the pseudonyms which they hackers are calling themselves. 

Final thoughts...
My intent in writing this post isn't to put my beloved country, Nigeria, in further bad light within the comity of nations but to expose the bad elements in our midst who are bent on doing so within their fraudulent schemes.

Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources and talents. But as with every other nation under Heaven, some bad elements exist tarnishing the image of the good, honest and hard-working ones amongst us. 

All that is needed for evil to keep thriving is for good people to continue to remain silent. Some of us are speaking out, lighting our own small candles to dispel the darkness. If every good and honest person in Nigeria lights his or her own candle, what a bright and beautiful nation we would have.

God bless Nigeria!!!!

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  1. Wow, this is definitely inspiring, I am definitely protecting my WhatsApp account now

    1. Please go ahead and do so Israel. Thank you for your comment.

  2. This article was written by a real thinking writer without a doubt. I agree many of the with the solid points made by the writer. I’ll be back day in and day for further new updates. envĂ­o masivo de whatsapps

    1. Thank you for your kind words Saqib. I really appreciate your comment and the fact that my personal experience resonated with you.

      May I please suggest that you subscribe to our Newsletter so that future contributions and fresh content will be delivered directly to your inbox.

      Thank you once again.

  3. So detailed. Instagram and Facebook are not left out. Hackers are on the prowl. I immediately did after your WhatsApp hack became a public knowledge. The two step verification is also available on Facebook & Instagram. To avoid any reoccurrences too.


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