A gunman has killed a notorious hacker/scammer in Bamenda after the hacker went around boasting about his exploits.
The gruesome scene took place in a neighborhood close to the Commercial Avenue in the Northwest regional capital of Bemenda in the early hours of Tuesday, sparking panic in the neighborhood.
The gunman, suspected to be an amba fighter, came on a bike with his friend, and when he saw the scammer who was about to leave his one-bedroom house, he discharged his gun in him before rushing back to where his colleague on the bike was waiting for him.
Eyewitnesses say the scene was gruesome but many onlookers said the scammer looked for his own death. “He has been a thorn in our side, an onlooker said,” adding that “taking him down is indeed good riddance. He and his friends hack everything from our MOMO accounts to our social media accounts.”
“He has many unemployed friends who want to live a luxurious life without sweating for it,” a neighbor of the victim told the Cameroon Concord News Group correspondent in Bamenda.
“With the war still going on, it is hard to report certain matters to the police. There are many young idle men around town and some of them have opted for criminality as a way of living and this is hurting our town,” the neighbor added.
“It is rumored that there are death squads in town revenging on people suspected of scamming families and friends,” a Bamenda resident who elected anonymity said.
“Since there is an active war going on, many people think that it is only the fighting that is producing corpses here in Bamenda. Many people are settling scores and they are using the war as a cover-up,” the Bamenda resident said.
“Many of the young men have gone down the route of crimes, hacking people’s account with the objective of making fast money. Some of them are meeting death in their path and if they don’t change their ways, they will meet a very bad fate,” he said.
It is rumored that the victim might have been killed because he scammed some rich Bamileke people in Bafoussam.
The Cameroon Concord News Group correspondent in Bamenda confirmed that the victim had recently been to Bafoussam on a business trip and when he returned, his lifestyle changed for the better.
Some people in the neighborhood who all elected anonymity said the dead man was a terror and his death was good riddance, adding that these boys hack any and everything, making everybody uncomfortable.
It is alleged that even the accounts of some prominent personalities get hacked, citing that of Mr. Enow Abrams, the Elecam boss, whose account was hacked by a hacker who said the election body was looking to set up offices in the regions and that those who paid in some money would be hired.
“I personally got that call and message. I am sure many people were victims, especially young people who are desperately looking for work. I turned down the offer as I suspected that the Elecam boss could not be directly involved in such a mess. I don’t know if the hacker was ever caught,” he said.
It is also alleged that the dead scammer/hacker spent most of his time online, seeking opportunities on Face book. It is also alleged that he had hacked many accounts, especially those of young university girls who are careless and are willing to run after rich people for money. He uses their information to get money and this might also be the cause of his death.
There is fear in Bamenda, as residents suspect that more killings could have been scheduled. Some of the victim’s friends are worried as they cannot explain what has happened to their friend.
Speaking to a security officer in Bamenda, the Cameroon Concord News Group correspondent learned that the Cameroon government has not invested a lot in cyber security and this could be why many young men are getting into that sector, hoping that they can get rich very fast.
But these are all illusions, the security officer said. He stressed that young people could be better off finding different opportunities that will grant them dignity and a pension when they retire. Scamming and hacking do not provide any pension and like in every other profession, hackers and scammers will get old and they will run out of energy and luck.
The security officer, who has sound IT knowledge stressed that hackers should know that their locations could easily be identified from the IP address from which their messages are sent. Every electronic device has an identifier which gives away the user’s location.
He underlined that hackers and scammers in Bamenda should be expecting such sporadic killings as they might be stepping on many big and wrong toes.
It is not too late to quit that nasty profession, he said, adding that nobody deserves to die for peanuts. “How much do those scammers and hackers even make,?”he questioned.
“Why spend your precious time and energy on things that will only attract pain and death? These young men can do better. However, it is up to them. The death of their friend today, should send home a strong message,” he concluded.
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with reports from Bamenda