Mobile money fraud on the rise in Ghana

Business News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017



Mtn MobileFile photo

Some Ghanaians on Wednesday recounted their experience with mobile money fraudsters who have invaded the mobile money services duping people.

Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5FM, the victims who have suffered from these scammers with monies ranging from GHC200-GHC3,500 described their experience as unfortunate.

According to them, the scammers call to inform them that they mistakenly sent money into mobile money wallet and so they should resend it back to them. The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, in April this year said, mobile money operators in Ghana namely, MTN Mobile Money, TigoCash, Airtel Money and Vodafone Cash have recorded 388 money fraud cases in 2016 as against 278 in 2015.

Although the mobile money operators did not reveal the amount of money made away by the fraudsters, majority of these cases have been reported to the police for further investigations and closure.

While some fraudsters involved in the some cases have been prosecuted. In a separate interview, Manager, Mobile Finance Services Analytics, Budget & Reporting at MTN Mobile Money, Solomon Hayford, said inadequate customer vigilance and compromises, forms part of the factors to the uptake of mobile money fraud in the country.

He admonished mobile money clients to be alert so they don’t fall victims to these scammers. According to him, they have informed clients to ignore such messages and calls and rather inform the telecommunication company to follow up and deal with the issue.

‘’We have done a lot on this fraud issue. When you go the police headquarters you will realize that we’ve done a lot. We have organized workshops for the CID and so we have done a lot. Prosecution of some fraudsters has taken place and we are assuring Ghanaians that we will work to crack down on these fraudsters. We will appeal to customers to ignore such calls, check their balance before responding to the fake messages.’’

He charged customers on MTN to send such numbers to 1515 so they are blocked. We are working closely with the police to clamp down on these criminals, he stated.

Types of mobile money fraud

Anonymous calls from fraudsters: Customers receive calls from fraudsters after deposits to transfer funds received with the claim being airtime. False Promotion: Customers are lured to authorize cash out transaction with the claim of winning Mobile Money promotion.

Cash out Fraud: Customers are pushed payment approval prompt and lured to enter their pin code in order to receive price won through Mobile Money. False

Promotion: Customers are lured to visit merchant point to redeem price won through Mobile Money.

Scam: Fraudsters calling to dupe customers under the pretext of delivering goods from abroad. Some fraudsters call and ask for specified amounts to be deposited into a mobile money account, in exchange for goods from relatives/friends from abroad.

False Cash out SMS: Fraudsters send false cash out messages to merchants for authorization of which the physical cash is issued by the merchant to the fraudster without the equivalent e-cash.

False Promotion SMS: Fraudulent consumers send fake SMS to agents either from their own handsets or generated from computers. The SMS looks genuine to the recipient.

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