IGP not safe as scammers operate clone Facebook accounts for him

BY: Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa Quansah

Despite modalities by the Ghana Police Service to clamp down on scammers and robbers, their efforts seem to be threatened by these hardened and wily criminals. 

Currently, the Facebook account of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, has been cloned by an unknown person.

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Interestingly the scammer, who has sent countless friend requests to this reporter and others, has a photo of the IGP in his ceremonial uniform as a profile picture, with questionable personal details.

For instance, the account name is “David Ashanti Apeatu” instead of David Asante-Apeatu, which is the correct spelling of his name.

The IGP is also rendered as “Chief Inspector of Ghana Police Service” with a WhatsApp number of  0551177189. The scammer has University of Cape Coast and Taibah International School (TIS) as the educational institutions that the IGP attended.

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However, The Mirror’s investigations show that Mr Asante-Apeatu had his secondary education at the Suhum Secondary Technical and later pursued a Master of Science degree in Chemistry at the Kharkov State University in Ukraine.

He also attended the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and University of Virginia.

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As a form of identity fraud, a Facebook clone, also known as a cloning scam, is when a person's profile picture and other social information are stolen and used to create a new Facebook profile. In most cases, the cloned account will use the same name (or a close version) and send friend requests to the targeted person's friends.

Facebook users may choose to accept the friend request, not realising that the account is a clone. Once the account has befriended people, it can then be used to collect personal information or send scam messages in the name of the targeted person.

Drawing the attention of the Public Affairs Directorate to this scam, the Director-General of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) David Eklu, admitted he had seen it too and described it as a “grand fraudulent misrepresentation of the IGP”.

According to him, the attention of the Cyber Crime Unit had been drawn to it to track down the persons behind the clone account. He added that some other top personnel of the service were equally cloned with fake recruitment accounts which they were dealing with.