GHANA: Cyber fraudsters attempt stealing GH¢329.7mn from banks

The Bank of Ghana’s 2018 report on fraud in the banking sector has revealed that cyber fraudsters attempted to steal at least GH¢325.9 million from financial institutions operating the country.

The report prepared by the Financial Stability Department of the central bank and sighted by Citi Business News stated that the amount involved represents a 190 percent increase in the value reported in 2017.

In that year, cyber fraudsters had attempted to steal more than GH¢116 million from banks among other financial institutions.

Despite the increase in the attempted value, the BoG reported that GH¢325.8 million was recovered; meaning that banks actually lost GH¢3.7 million to these cyber fraudsters.

The central bank’s report also points to the fact while banks reported 36 incidents of cyber fraud in 2017, that figure shot up to 174 which represents a more than 380 percent increase year on year.

Explaining the modus operandi of the criminals, the Bank of Ghana explained that fraud cases related to cyber-crime in 2018 mainly involved email fraud, fraud through the use of internet banking platforms and fraud perpetrated through the mobile money or other digital payment platforms.

With the upsurge in the linkage of customers’ bank accounts to their mobile money wallets, fraudsters are able to transfer monies from customers’ accounts whenever their mobile money or mobile banking credentials are compromised.

Most common type adopted was email phishing where customers were lured through emails to either update or verify passwords and in the process steal sensitive information of customers.

Some reported cases also involved fraudsters hacking into customers email and sending instructions to the customer’s bank for monies to be transferred to either a domestic account or an overseas account.