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Facebook Scam Alert: Fake “Shaykh Yasir Qadhi” Exposed!

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By: Fauzia Mohamed & Maryam Rana

 Audio-log of the Phone Conversation: ‘Sh Yasir Qadhi’ Exposed!
On December 28th, at 4:05 p.m. EST, I was contacted by “Shaykh Yasir Qadhi” on Facebook. After salaams and formalities, he proceeded to ask me for donations. He explained that he was collecting funds for an orphanage in Malaysia and that he would like me to contribute to the cause. How could I refuse to help orphans, especially, after a plea from a man whom I trust and respect?

I asked him for the details, and he explained that they had a target of $100,000. I assured him that my family and I would contribute about 20% of that amount and would reach out to our personal and professional networks for contributions towards the rest. I also told him that a business owner friend of mine was interested in donating not only towards the orphanage, but also towards the sheikh’s personal dawah efforts.

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He was thoroughly pleased and assured me that he would provide me with account details via e-mail very soon. I awaited his reply.

Soon, he sent me account details of a bank account in Malaysia – this account was not under his name. I was uncomfortable with this fact so I asked him to send me details for an account that was in his name. I also asked to speak with him over the phone as this would make me more comfortable about the whole thing. I had trouble getting through the first time I called, so the first time we finally spoke, he was unable to talk long. He assured me that he would get me account details very soon, and he made some duas for my life in this world and the next and we rescheduled the call to the next day after maghrib, my time.

On December 29th, we continued our conversation on Facebook messenger and I was provided with bank details for an HSBC account in the UK under the name of Al Maghrib Charity Foundation. Given the increased stringency of the banking system post 9-11, I asked him if he had any accounts in any other countries. He asked me which countries I was looking into, so I mentioned African countries.

We, then, had another phone call in which he asked me to make sure I didn’t let the bank know I was sending money to someone I spoke to on Facebook.

On December 30th, he sent me bank account information for an account in Nigeria. He apologized for not being able to provide details of other accounts and urged me to send the funds as soon as possible.

He seemed very angry and frustrated when I told him that because of holiday closures I would not be able to send the money until after New Year’s. He then later apologized for expressing his frustrations. After this apology, his account was deactivated and reactivated a few hours later.

On December 28th at 4:08 p.m., I emailed Dr. Yasir Qadhi on his personal e-mail address and asked him if it was really him that I was speaking to on Facebook. He told me it was not. He told me that there was a man who had been impersonating him for some time now, and that he had not been able to apprehend him. He urged me to extract as much information as I could from this man and help to bring him to justice.

After receiving the details of the Malaysian account, both Dr. Yasir Qadhi and I contacted the Malaysian bank and proceeded to log a complaint. After narrating the story and sharing the account details, we were directed to their fraud unit to file an investigation.

When I spoke to this man on the phone, I was able to determine that he was of Nigerian decent. I thus urged him to send me account details in Nigeria as I have contacts in that region. Upon receiving the account details, we were able to contact the Nigerian authorities to get them involved in the investigation.

On December 30th at 1:00 p.m. EST, I called the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre but hung up after being on hold for 20 minutes. I then called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was advised to call the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets unit in Orillia.

One of my contacts in the Federal Inland Revenue Service offered to forward the case and all of the evidence to the Chairman, Economic Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja, Nigeria. Upon receipt, EFCC immediately began investigating the local account in the hopes of identifying the account holder and arresting him.

An official investigation is currently underway with the RCMP along with their Nigerian and Malaysian counterparts.

Ed.Note: This scenario has taken place with many Shuyookh and teachers. Someone created a fake profile of Imam Abu Abdissalam and when asked to speak at an event, he asked for a “donation” to be made to a “cause” in Nigeria. His fake profile actually mimicked his real profile. Someone impersonating Sh. Abdul Nasir Jangda asked young women awkward questions and solicited donations, another used Imam Suhaib Webb’s name to ask for donations. Please be careful.

  • Be very wary of any shaykh/imam/public figure adding you as a friend on Facebook unless you actually have a personal relationship with them.
  • Check their official outlets for links to their real pages. Shaykhs will never solicit you for donations directly. Ever.
  • If they are raising funds, it will be through an established organization (e.g. their masjid, institution or a known organization like Islamic Relief, Nour DV etc.)
  • There will be an official campaign, usually with videos of them endorsing a fundraiser.
  • Report the fraud.

Facebook Chat Transcript:

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Basmah

    January 14, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    The moment you mentioned ‘ Facebook ‘ it was clear it cannot be him. No honest ,responsible person would do something so important on Facebook.

    I Hope many read this .
    Jazakumallah khair sisters.

  2. Chow

    January 14, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Should we assume then that if the sheikh has added you on FB as a friend that he is in fact the bogus guy?

    • Fauzia Mohamed

      January 14, 2014 at 2:37 AM

      Most shuyookh have a fan page but this impostor had a personal page. So that would be one way of identifying the correct page.

  3. sulaiman Bala

    January 14, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    Jazakallah kayan. Please share this experience with Islam channel on the cable network for its wide coverage.

    • Muhammad

      April 3, 2020 at 6:47 PM

      Its fake bro. Half the spelling and sentences don’t even make sense in the same screenshots

  4. sadia

    January 14, 2014 at 2:08 AM

    Oh I was asked by he very same person yesterday about donation but when I saw the nigerian details I knew something was not right…. I was goig to

    • sadia

      January 14, 2014 at 2:10 AM

      I was going 2 say I was going to ask another shaykh to to see if he knew this profile but was debatig whethershaykh YQ will getupset if it were really him

      • Fauzia Mohamed

        January 14, 2014 at 2:39 AM

        Do not be afraid of asking sister. I would hate for you to have donated to a scammer.

        • sadia

          January 14, 2014 at 2:51 AM

          Alhamdulillah I did not donate because as soonas I saw nigeria I knew this was fake…. plus y would a shaykh personally contact and insist as if its an emergency

          • murtala abukhadijah

            January 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM

            pls,i will not like u to give up on nigeria.over 90 million muslims 75% youths under 30.how can u brothers forsake us.prophet musa prayed to Allah”will u punish us for the actions of the foolish among us?”all u need to do is to seprate the cheep from d grains.

          • Qasim

            January 15, 2014 at 1:48 PM

            Nigeria is not a charity case!

  5. Anony

    January 14, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    It kind of seemed obvious from the beginning lol. First of all, he wouldn’t ever just write, the generic “salaam”, I would imagine him writing the full, “Aselamulaikum”, especially if it was a stranger he was messaging. Second, his sentences have so many grammatical mistakes and simply don’t make sense, I wouldn’t see a person with a PHD doing that….Also, his responses on chat were pretty rude, that’s a complete giveaway.

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      January 14, 2014 at 3:04 AM

      Dear Anony

      Our Comments Policy does not allow Anonymous comments. Please use your name, a Kunyah or a valid blog handle. Further comments from you on this site will not be allowed if in violation to this policy.

      Best Regards
      -Aly

  6. Salman

    January 14, 2014 at 2:44 AM

    Clues:

    1. Most important giveaway- Adding you instead of you adding him. Never seen a Sheikh do that unless he’s a close friend.

    2. Asking for donation after adding.

    3. Clear grammatical mistakes in chat. From what I know of Sh. Yasir, it’s impossible that he will murder English like this guy just did.

    4. Not sure of the donation amount.

    5. Jumping from bank account to bank account- Malaysia-to-UK-to-Nigeria.

    6. NIGERIA- another dead giveaway!

    7. Conversation on phone- how can one not recognize it’s not Sh. Yasir.

    8. Telling to keep it private / anxiety / frustration another easy one to notice.

    PLEASE DON’T LOOSE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!

    Always give to reputable organizations or after proper verification.

    Wassalam.

    • sadia

      January 14, 2014 at 2:48 AM

      Indeed nigeria was a big give away for me

  7. murtala abukhadijah

    January 14, 2014 at 3:36 AM

    i am a nigerian muslim and i want to tell this forum that in nigeria becouse of the diverse nature of the countrys population,the youths in the south especially the south east who are mostly non muslim tend to use thier street exposure to I.T to defraud people wherever possible.now they are begining to see oppurtunities in this inpersonation thing on revered islamic schollars but i pray allah will expose them.

    • Taoheedah

      January 25, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Salaam brother, I don’t think as Muslims, we should generally label a people as bad.

      Painting a particular ethnicity with the same brush is not always a good idea. I am sure we do have good and bad people in the south eastern Nigeria as well as good and bad people in south western Nigeria too.

      As for where in Nigeria this fake Yasir Qadhi is from, we simply do not know, we do not have any evidence for now until he is hopefully caught.

  8. KAMILU ABIODUN ADISA OLADIPUPO

    January 14, 2014 at 4:45 AM

    Thanks for ths informations, infact it’s enlightable. I want to let everybody know that all west africans are curropted via sorts of fraud. May Allah (swt) help us to track down all these rogues In Shaa Allah. Ma Salam

  9. grant

    January 14, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    thanks for exposing this imposter …. i been saying this for quite some time now … all you need to do is add “insha’allah” and some “masha’allahs” after a sentence to pretend to be a muslim

    • Taoheedah

      January 25, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      he may or may not be a Muslim, I don’t think we have enough evidence. May Almighty Allah guide him and forgive him.

  10. Yasir Qadhi

    January 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Salaam Alaikum

    This person has harassed many people in our names, and I pray that Allah guides him before his death and causes him to publicly repent.

    Please be aware that the only official Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/yasir.qadhi. And it is a FAN page, not a PERSONAL page, and I never ever contact people asking them to add me.

    This fake person uses a personal page and adds numbers to the end of the address, for example http://www.facebook.com/yasir.qadhi.1

    He has done the same for at least seven other Western scholars (and probably a few Eastern scholars as well?!)

    Yasir Qadhi

  11. Zaid

    January 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Forget everything else, the fact that he said “well said” (which for some reason made me Lol), was far more then sufficient proof that something was terribly wrong with the guy.

  12. sakib

    January 14, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    I could see it was fake when he asked the question: “have you been following my teachings?” This is not the kind of language fitting for a Sheikh to use.

  13. Wael Abdelgawad

    January 15, 2014 at 1:54 AM

    Poor grammar, asking for donations to his own account, the mention of Nigeria… All big red flags.

  14. akbar

    January 15, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Assalamualaykum,
    I am Nigerian and Nigeria is not all dead neither does it always raise red flags. It is just so sad and pathetic what some of these people do, however its not yardstick to paint all with same brush, however its important we verify some of these claims, and there should be a clear demarcation between requesting for assistance and stealing by impersonation.
    The only advise we give is you can go to any length for the authenticity of claims these people even steal from Nigerians so sad. As its obvious, its not only in Nigeria its a network now from India to US, Malaysia and UK, people should not just be naive.
    Seriously, I actually can’t deny this problem exist and that its by a few people to destroy a lot of good.

  15. Lenny

    January 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Sounds like the fake solicitation calls reported at http://www.callercenter.com. I’ve been reading a lot of complaints lately about calls coming from anonymous numbers, the callers claiming to represent different charity groups and are asking for donations. While some of the calls may be legit, it’s sad that those scammers are taking advantage of people’s trust and concern for other people.

  16. Qasim

    January 15, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Not all from Nigeria is bad. Nigeria is a diverse country with many nations within the nation. we have over 200 languages (not dialects). With many religions… it is what you can call a melting pot.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9h4TIqGvos

  17. Khalida

    January 17, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    lol @ the conversation. I can never ever imagine a Shaykh who spent most of his life in the West having such horrible English (no offense to anyone). It irritates me when people have so many grammatical errors. I applaud you for your patience, Sister.

  18. umair

    January 22, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Can anybody tell me the official facebook of Sheikh Yasir Qadhi? Many people are believing this fake FB accnt as the real!

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      January 22, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      Shaykh YQ’s official page is https://www.facebook.com/yasir.qadhi

      • Meraj Siddiqui

        August 8, 2014 at 6:33 PM

        Assalamoalekum,
        Strangely I just experienced something similar to what has been stated in this article. The impersonator of Sh. Yasir Qadhi asked me to send 1000 dollars to west Africa for Muslim brothers/sisters

        Here is part of the transcript:
        Yasir Qadhi (impersonator)

        BTW, I need your help with an urgent errand. Shaykh Omar is currently in western Africa for the Ebola disease campaign; control, prevention and containment etc. There’s urgent need for $1k. To get the suit and kit for our Muslim ummah there.

        I was wondering if you can be of help

        the sum is payable via Western union money transfer to him directly

        Alhamdulillah, jzk for your dua’s may Allah accept from us all

        Yasir Qadhi (impersonator)

        Okay jzk

        Send donation via Western Union Money transfer Beneficiary Name : Omar Ali Location: West Africa Test Question: insha Test Answer : Allah

        Furnish me with a copy of the receipt after making donation inshaaAllah

        Me:
        Is there a number of Omar Ali in West Africa, where we can reach him. Our Masjid president may want to speak to him or to you to validate, before we can proceed. My apologies, but that is how they normally operate, specially with western union. If there is an account of yours, or Memphis Islamic Center then this may not be needed.

        Yasir Qadhi (impersonator)
        +234807 846 4190 for Omar Ali, this is a direct donation

  19. Aish

    March 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Wow some people can’t possibly be that ignorant… ! “furnish me your email” are you kidding me?

  20. Pingback: Beware of Facebook Scams with Islamic Scholars | Fiqh of Social Media

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