On March 9, 24-year-old Olateju Khadijat Abiola decided to venture into online business. Little did she know, she was stepping into a well-laid trap by the Dolly Mall O2O store.
Abiola came across a person named Ande via a Chrome link on WhatsApp. With a seemingly non-Nigerian profile picture, Ande introduced herself as a customer assistant at Dolly Mall O2O, eager to explain the nuances of the online-to-offline business.
Ande lured Abiola into a quick money-making scheme, explaining how she could earn between NGN10,000 to 50,000 a day just by helping merchants complete orders online. Excited by the promise of earning easy money, Abiola followed Ande’s instructions.
“Your job is to help merchants complete ordering online. You can work on your mobile phone. You can earn 10000 to 50000 NGN a day. You now just have to spend 15 minutes to earn 10000+NGN,” Ande said.
Ande sent Abiola a registration link and a business model chart. To Abiola’s delight, her account was credited with NGN1000 upon registration, as promised. However, things soon started to turn sour.
Following Ande’s instructions, Abiola performed a series of orders that involved depositing money into different bank accounts, with the assurance of commission in return. She successfully completed two such orders, but things took a drastic turn when she was unable to withdraw her money after the third deposit.
By this time, Abiola had already lost a whopping sum of N907,900. Despite her pleas, the task manager on Telegram insisted that she deposit an additional N183,333 for bank charges, promising it would be the last fee before she could retrieve her money. But, disillusioned and financially drained, Abiola knew she had been tricked.
One of the bank accounts Abiola deposited money into was a Providus bank with an account number: 9986786551, bearing ‘Budpay Brilliant Global Techn’ where she paid N5,000 to and withdrew N6,300; which happened to be her second and last withdrawal from the business.
Ande requested her to make a third payment of N10,000 to complete the VIP1 stage, the site also displayed a different account to her to make the payment. The account details is 9550528062, Palmpay, with the name ‘Mercy Grace Christopher’. After that, Ande linked her with their task manager on telegram through this link: https://t.me/Tm14566.
Connecting With The Task Manager
The task manager hid all his telegram profile but Ande introduced him as a man. He congratulated Abiola for completing the VIP1 stage and introduced her to VIP2 and VIP3. The manager tasked her to perform 5 orders and 10 orders to complete both levels. He assured her that she will be able to withdraw the money with commission.
This reporter confirmed that Abiola performed all the orders as instructed after paying a certain amount to an Opay account: 9030943084, bearing the name Abdullahi Funsho Onimago, before being given access to place the order. The payment is dubbed as recharge for an order. After she paid the required N610,883, she was unable to withdraw her balance and the manager told her to deposit another N279,661 for tax before she could withdraw the money.
Abiola lamented that the total amount of money she was defrauded of is N907,900, which most of it was paid to Onimago’s Opay account. She said that after paying this huge amount and was unable to withdraw the money as promised, the task manager via his telegram account still requested her to pay another N183,333 for bank charges on Monday, March 20. He noted that after paying the bank charges there won’t be another task again and she will be able to withdraw her money with commission, but Abiola said it’s a lie and trick to swindle her more.
“I told him that I didn’t have money and that I have been borrowing money to this level. He even encouraged me to take out a loan and pay back after cashing out, which I now know that it’s a trick and a scam,” Abiola said pitifully.
“All I want now is my money back, I don’t even need the commissions, the person I borrowed money from is already on my neck. I am going through hell right now.”
Dolly Mall’s History of Scams
On February 23, 2023, Adefolarin Bukola filed a complaint on Consumer Complaints Court Online that she was scammed by Dolly Mall O2O store.
“I was defrauded by Dolly Mall O2O store online order business. Initial deposit is what we use to track a granted order given by my telegram manager. At VIP 3 I deposited 20,000 to track 10 given orders online with a commission reward counted for me, reaching 8 orders. They requested 34,439.25 which I am unable to proceed and complete the remaining orders and withdraw my money. Dolly mall telegram manager told me to borrow money which I am unable to get from no one or anywhere,” she narrated.
Also, on January 4, 2023 Dolly Mall O2O store defrauded Divine. According to her complaint, she discovered a money-making website and decided to give it a try. She was introduced to a person named Jenny and completed the VIP 1 and VIP 2 levels, which refunded her initial investment. However, trouble arose when she reached VIP 3. The Telegram manager insisted on tax payments, commission fees, and verification funds, despite her already spending a significant amount. Divine urgently seeks a refund, having reported the matter to CBN fraud services without receiving a response. The associated account name is Hajara Jimoh, using the Palmpay banking app.
Findings revealed that all the various wallet accounts used by this scamming site are merchant accounts; all phone numbers associated with them are not reachable.
Online to offline trading platforms like Jumia, Alibaba, Amazon, etc always display goods and prices on their platforms for buyers to see and place orders, but the case is not the same with the Dolly Mall.
Mr. Abdulrasaq Mustapha, a frequent user and long-term online business patronizer, explained that a good online platform would have contact address, customer care line or email which are absent on Dolly Mall O2O store’s platform.
“Dolly mall O2O store does not have an App on play store unlike the well-known online business platforms. One supposed to be suspicious as Dolly Mall maintains that customer orders will not be delivered offline; which opposes the concept of online-to-offline business.”
As of the time of filing this report, efforts to reach the customer assistant proved abortive. Calls made to them were not reachable and messages sent were not responded to.
While speaking with Kwara state Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Ajayi Okasannmi Jeffrey, said that their command is not aware of the issue.
“Tell anyone that has been scammed by the platform to lodge a complaint at our headquarter and we will start an investigation on it,” he advised.
If apprehended by police, the perpetrators behind Dolly Mall O2O store risk an imprisonment of three years. Section 419 of the Nigerian Criminal Code states that “any person who by any false pretense, and with intent to defraud, obtains from any other person anything capable of being stolen, or induces any other person to deliver to any person anything capable of being stolen, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.”