Let’s go for this impersonator

Let’s go for this impersonator

Last week, we published a story of an individual who has apparently been duping musicians in the country by selling their music without their knowledge.

The individual, through his website Nyasavibes.com, has been tactfully earning a quick buck behind the backs of the creators of the songs. When one asks for a download of a song, they are quickly diverted to a WhatsApp number through a link provided.

Upon reaching this WhatsApp line, one is promptly asked the product they wants. A song is being sold at K500 and an album at K2 000. Depending on one’s choice, one is asked to pay through two provided mobile money numbers. Both numbers show an ID of Precious Chalenga.

Before I proceed with my entry, let me reproduce, verbatim, one message I got through Instagram upon publication of the story.

Good morning Brian. Hope everything is okay with you. My name is Rex Chalenga and am a fan of your articles in the newspaper. I came across your piece on nyasavibes.com and to my surprise I saw my little sister’s name, Precious Chalenga, as the name being used for these dubious transactions. The thing is my little sister got her phone, purse with everything in it stolen three years ago and those items were never recovered and she never bothered renewing her identity card which begs the question how that number was registered under her name. I was hoping you can assist me in apprehending this guy by giving me some information because this is identity theft and we have no idea to what extent her name has been used for.

This is another worrying side of the thievery and exploitation that is being done by this man. In our conversation last week he admitted that the name being used on the mobile money numbers is indeed not his. He claimed his name is John Banda, a resident of Luwinga in Mzuzu.

Here is an individual who is unsuspectingly going on with her life not knowing that someone, somewhere is using her name to defraud musicians. I don’t know if this suspected swindler has an idea of the gravity of the crime that he is committing.

The system he is using to make money on his website is simply genius. He is responsiveness in rapid and the delivery instant. One cannot fail to admire his efficiency. Within two hours of our probe, he managed to sale music to five different individuals. Each got what he requested.

You wonder what if this system was in use by the owners of these works. How much would they have been earning in a day, week, month or year from their sweat. Some considerable amounts I suppose. We don’t even know how long he has been grinding out thousands from his fraudulent trade.

This is all happening when the local artists are struggling to make a meaningful breakthrough in as far as selling their music online is concerned. This boy is here making a mockery of all their efforts. So unfortunate.

Using their numbers, all their know-how, backed by all the legal provisions in place and structural establishments such as the Copyright Society of Malawi and Musicians Association of Malawi, I am convinced the artists have the capacity to take on this suspect and bring him to book.

One purpose of apportioning a punishment to a wrong-doer is to deter others from attempting a similar vice. We don’t have a single John Banda among us and within the systems. It is just that there day of being busted has not arrived yet.

This is a perfect opportunity to send a warning to all these people out there. There are enough clues on the ground to successfully lead a manhunt for this impersonator. He may have turned off his website now, but tomorrow he may come back under a different name and continue reaping where he did not sow.

The post Let’s go for this impersonator appeared first on The Nation Online.

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