I know you’ve probably heard about Clubkonnect.com and their affordable internet data bundles in Nigeria.
On the Clubkonnect website or app, you could buy internet data bundles, airtime, and pay your bills.
But in this post, I will not be talking about the Clubkonnect services. Rather, I will be talking about how their website is used for BVN phishing and scamming.
Here’s The Back Story
A friend of mine recently tried to convince me to join Clubkonnect. I don’t know if she is an affiliate trying to earn some commission, or if she just genuinely wanted me to try out Clubkonnect services.
I told her that instead of buying data bundles from Clubkonnect, I’d rather just migrate to the MTN SME Biz Plus plan where I could buy cheap data bundles.
But this friend of mine was adamant. So, I had to run a quick Google search about Clubkonnect.
From my Google search, I could see that Clubkonnect offers data bundles, airtime and bills payment, but their services are slow and inconsistent, while their customer support is poor.
On Nairaland, there are several complaints of people who bought data from Clubkonnect and didn’t receive value. It took some people days or weeks to receive value for their payment, so I was really doubtful of the legitimacy of Clubkonnect business.
On the website, I even saw that they were running an affiliate marketing program which is more like an MLM scheme.
So, I refused to use Clubkonnect services. However, my friend was adamant that I should at least just try out their services.
So, I obliged not to please this friend of mine, but out of curiosity to see how Clubkonnect works.
The Clubkonnect Website
So, I logged on to the Clubkonnect website, registered and proceeded to buy a 1GB MTN data bundle.
I was told my Clubkonnect wallet balance was low, so I needed to top up.
So, I proceeded to deposit money into my Clubkonnect wallet.
There were two options.
The first is to deposit with my debit card via Interswitch.
And the other option is to deposit via cash deposit or transfer.
I opted for the second option because I wasn’t comfortable using my debit card on a website I am yet to trust.
So, onto the next step.
I was shocked to see this:
Do I really need KYC to make a cash deposit or bank transfer?
Do I really need to reveal my BVN just to purchase something online?
This is very ridiculous from Clubkonnect and this made me really sceptical about the legitimacy of their business.
Well, I was still curious, so I went ahead.
I input my BVN because I know that there is really no risk if a scammer has my BVN alone. To understand this, kindly read my BVN expose article.
So, I input my BVN, but because I know they would call me to get more information in order to carry out their scam, I input a dormant bank account I had with UBA.
If anyone called me about my BVN and mentioned UBA, I would know they are scammers from Clubkonnect.
Once I input all my details in the form and clicked on the “Verify KYC” button, an error popped up.
This error is probably a gimmick to make me believe that my details were not collected. It is one of the popular methods used by phishing websites on the internet.
Once an error pops up after submitting a form, you would think that your details were not submitted and you will not suspect the website when you get scammed.
The Clubkonnect Scam
After submitting my KYC with Clubkonnect and getting an error, I showed my friend the error on my phone screen and I concluded that I wouldn’t be using Clubkonnect services since there was no way to proceed with depositing money in my wallet.
But I knew that the Clubkonnect Scam was about to begin.
Predictably, I received a call the next day from an unknown number with an accent of someone whose first language isn’t English.
Here’s the conversation that ensued:
Me: Yea, Good afternoon
Scammer: Good Afternoon, are you Chijioke?
Me: Yea, I’m Chijioke
Scammer: This is Mr David Adebayo, this is the customer care from your bank. How are you?
Me: I’m fine sir.
Scammer: How is the family and everybody?
Me: We are fine sir.
Scammer: Did you receive the message we sent to you last week Wednesday concerning the general system we have been doing?
Me: Last Wednesday?
Scammer: Yes, Yes.
Me: No, I didn’t.
Scammer: Ahan! you did not receive a message?
Me: No, I’ve not.
Scammer: The reason is that we have been doing the maintenance of the account and link the NIN to the BVN number and we now discovered that you are having two dates of birth on the account and the BVN number. We don’t know the correct one to choose. That is why we quickly call you as a regular customer with us, okay?
Me: Which bank is that please?
Scammer: *Stammers* Are you not Chijioke…?
Me: Yes, yes. Which bank is that please?
Scammer: Ahan, you don’t know your bank again? How many banks are you using sir?
Me: I use about four or five banks.
Scammer: Four to five banks?
Me: Yes, which one is that?
Scammer: But you still remember the one, the new one you opened that gave you the BVN number?
Me: No, I mean, which bank is the issue with?
Scammer: You don’t know the one you opened your BVN number?
Me: Ok, sorry sir, which bank are you calling from sir?
Scammer: You don’t know your bank again? Which of the bank are you using?
Me: I’m using five of them, which bank are you calling from?
Scammer: Which bank are you using? Which of the banks are you using?
Me: I’m using all the banks, the five of them. I’m asking you now, which of the banks are you calling from?
Scammer: This from the UBA bank ahan! You are not banking with the UBA again?
Me: From the UBA right?
Me: Which account? Is it the savings or the domiciliary account?
Scammer: Ahan! This is from the savings account now?
Me: No no no. I don’t use the account anymore.
Scammer: You don’t use the account anymore?
Me: No, I don’t.
Scammer: But you still use the other one right?
Me: Yea yea yea.
Scammer: And you think we can’t call you from the UBA again?
Me: No, I will go to the bank and resolve any issue I have with the bank. I don’t do any online conversations…
Scammer: Hangs up the phone.
The Scammer’s Profile
After the call, I tried to unravel who the scammer was.
A Truecaller search shows this:
So, it’s confirmed that I just spoke with a scammer on the phone.
From the Truecaller profile, they probably called someone as a customer care rep from EcoBank just like they called me disguised as a UBA customer care rep.
This shows that they have a list of user data from different banks through their phishing forms.
He told me his name was David Adebayo and he sure has a local Yoruba accent.
He also mentioned that he was from UBA.
The same UBA account I inputted on the Clubkonnect website just the previous day.
Also, a look at the Clubkonnect website shows that they are located in Oyo state.
In my opinion, everything links back to Clubkonnect.
In Nigeria today, there is no online merchant that requires buyers to input their BVN in order to make an online purchase. Not to talk of making a cash deposit or bank transfer.
I purchase things online frequently, and I know this.
The only apps, websites, or digital services that are required by the CBN to collect BVN for KYC purposes are the financial services that offer loans, savings and investments. This is done as an anti-money laundering measure.
So, by the mere act of requiring BVN to use its services, Clubkonnect has proven that it has an ulterior motive.
Clubkonnect Is Running A BVN Phishing and Scamming Business
The way I see it, Clubkonnect is phishing BVN from it’s unsuspecting customers and then in turn, scamming them after calling them to obtain their banking and financial information.
It’s probably running the scamming business on the side to sustain its network business.
Or using its network business to legitimize its phishing and scamming business.
All in all, Clubkonnect is running a BVN phishing and scamming racket.
The available payment methods on their website are done in a way that you either give them your debit card details or you give them your BVN details.
Either way, you are at risk of being scammed.
For publicity sake, I’ve updated the profile of the scammer’s phone number on Truecaller to reflect their true identity.
Even though Clubkonnect has smartly differentiated their network business from their phishing and scamming business, the connection between the two is obvious from all indications.
My Final Verdict: Don’t use Clubkonnect if you want to avoid being scammed.