A pair of Facebook accounts that have achieved some fame due to the images of cash, cars and private jets are fake profiles whose modus is to scam unsuspecting users into sending money, a Khuluma Afrika Investigation revealing the true identities of the fraudsters has revealed.
The accounts, Charity Mnangagwa and Munangagwa Michael Sean became the subject of much debate after opponents of Zimbabwe’s incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa picked them and began sharing them under a muted theme of ‘another Chatunga and Robert Jnr’.
Chatunga Mugabe and his brother Robert Jnr have been criticised on social media for their extravagant lifestyle and their pompous attitudes which have driven them to flaunt ill-gotten riches to millions of starving Zimbabweans.
Khuluma Afrika was first alerted this morning by a twitter user, who posted pictures of the alleged ‘Sean Munangagwa’ sitting in a private jet, while in other images he was holding hordes of spanking new Unites States Dollars.
Khuluma Afrika was able to establish with relative ease that the account was fake after realising the images on the profile were heavily pixelated, indicating the pictures had been downloaded from a social network site like Facebook, or Instagram.
Social Networks compress pictures when they uploaded via a method known as loss of quality for compression. When an image is downloaded and re-uploaded, it loses more and more quality, making the image blurry.
Secondly, the profile does not have any family connections with any members of the Mnangagwa family, immediate and extended. Members of Mnangagwa’s family who we spoke to proclaimed that they had never heard of any of those two names.
Perhaps the biggest red flag is that the Sean Munangagwa profile has the surname spelt incorrectly. Responding to the twitter user, Khuluma Afrika co-Editor Maynard Manyowa pointed out the anomaly.
“Would think if he was ED’s child he would at least spell his own surname right…” he wrote.
A search of public records with the names Charity Mnangagwa and Sean Michael Munangagwa (with all variations) did not yield any results. No bank accounts, public profiles, school records, etc… exist for the two supposed individuals.
A source was able to confirm to Khuluma that there are no government issued IDs, nor Passports bearing any of those names with all their variations.
In the past, Emmerson Mnangagwa has been a victim of paid trolling by web brigades. Khuluma Afrika broke the story several months ago. You can read it here.
While initial suspicions were that the profiles were created to soil the name of Mnangagwa, Khuluma Afrika was able to find evidence that the accounts are created for the purpose of scamming people online, either through cat-fishing, or 419 Nigerian dating scams.
In these kind of scams, criminals create a fake identity tied to a powerful business figure. They then lure people on Facebook or Instagram. Having built some rapport with users keen on developing a relationship with ‘children of powerful figures’, the scammers then create fake scenarios and request amounts of cash usually sent via mobile money.
Some months ago Khuluma Afrika wrote about another pair of fake profiles pretending to be daughters of former President Joice Mujuru which were doing the same thing. You can read the story here.
Khuluma Afrika managed to make contact with a potential victim who was targeted by both the Sean Munangagwa account and the Charity Mnangagwa account.
The victim, who requested that her identity be protected was targeted by both accounts.
“On a few occasions the Charity person asked me for money. There were always excuses. Her father was sick one time in Namibia. The other time she was in Dubai, then Ethiopia and had forgotten to give her PA money and asked i chip in.”
The victim who runs a clothing shop was at one point asked to deliver clothing to an unknown address, with the promise of payment later. She declined.
Another time, she was asked to come and fetch Charity from the airport. She suspected she would be hijacked, and declined.
Khuluma Afrika was able to establish that the scammers use the numbers below.
Fake Charity Mnangagwa – +263 71 386 5706
Fake Sean Munangagwa – +263 71 574 9396
The accounts appear to be run by two people, a male and female, working in cohorts, as they both often request that money be sent via EcoCash to this number +263783681845
The EcoCash number is registered to one Bridget Dipuka
However, the actual sim card is registered to one Caroline Jerera, whose national identity number is ID#27-220472-T-86, and hails from Zaka in Zimbabwe.
A number entry search on Facebook shows that the number used by Charity Mnanagwga was used to open another account under the name Bridgete Dipuka, but which uses images fetched from another users account. The images are also of poor quality and show signs of loss of quality compression.
The sim cards used by the people behind these accounts do not have a physical address under their registration details but only point to a P.O Box address.
The cell numbers used by the people behind the profiles went straight to voicemail. We were able to reach out to the Charity Mnangagwa number on WhatsApp. We sent questions to Charity, which she initially answered and promised to give more information.
Charity denied she was related to the Mnangagwa family, but deleted her WhatsApp and Facebook accounts when we asked her to provide identification to prove that her alias is her real name, and when we pressed her about her real identity.
Khuluma Afrika delayed reaching out to Sean Munangagwa, to see if the accounts indeed are working in cohorts. After Charity deleted her WhatsApp, we refreshed her Facebook profile which we kept open in two separate tabs. We instantly realised she had deactivated her account as well.
Sean Munagagwa’s profile was instantly deactivated at the same time. The same happened over WhatsApp indicating that the pair had communicated.
Khuluma Afrika believes the person behind these accounts is indeed Bridget Dipuka, the name under which the EcoCash number was registered to. Bridget Dipuka’s account was immediately de-activated at the same time as well.
Khuluma was able to obtain messages exchanged between the Charity account and unsuspecting users.
In communication with Khuluma Afrika, the person behind the Charity account admitted the Sean account being a run by a brother. The fact that all accounts were deactivated shows collusion between these fraudsters.
We reached out to Ecocash to alert them, but at the time of writing they had not responded to our request.
These accounts join a long list of accounts currently being set-up in Zimbabwe for the purposes of fleecing gullible facebook users.
Another account, Erry Mohane is littered with fake pictures as well, and has been fleecing Zimbabweans in the UK. Some men have even sent nude images, which are now being used to blackmail them.