Increasing Mobile Money fraud scares Ghanaians

Ghanaians are getting worried over the increasing cases of Mobile Money fraud in the country.

The issue is said to threaten the growth of the industry as well as financial inclusion.

Some victims of Mobile Money fraud who narrated their ordeal to Citi Business News expressed worry over the canker.

A victim who was swindled of GH¢1, 000 tells Citi Business News the event occurred when he approached a vendor to send money to a business partner.

“Personally, I didn’t think that I could be defrauded but the danger here is we should all just change our minds because the danger here is that even if they don’t defraud you physically they can end up defrauding the person you are sending the money to” he said.

“I gave the vendor the number so he did the transaction. Before I even got close to my car the receiver called me that he has received the money. Later my business partner called again telling me that after I sent the money to him he had a call from the vendor telling him that in the course of sending the money in the form of cash, he made a mistake and sent the money in the form of credit”.

“The vendor told him that for him to be able to resend the money in the form of liquid for him to be able to take it out, he is going to send him some commands that  he’s supposed to approve and afterwards heis supposed to delete the text message that brought the original cash” he added.

Mobile money which hitherto was a safe means of transacting business now seems to be an opportunity for scammers.

Some of the methods they use include text messages and phone calls.

Most often, the scammers call to inform victims of mistakenly sending some money to their mobile money account and demand a resend.

A Mobile Money vendor at Adabraka who gave his name as Ernest explained that the scammers look out for unsuspecting people to swindle.

“If it is in the book and we book it, the fraudsters will pretend as if they are coming to do a transaction and steal the number from the agents’ book. They will have exact details of what you have done and call back. So we the mobile money operators have to also be vigilant in our line of duty. Some will also tell you that they have sent you money in a form of credit and those who cannot read and write most at times are the culprits” he said.

Although he admits that some vendors are facilitators of the scam, Ernest proposed measures to name, shame and punish vendors that get involved such acts.

“In mobile money interaction loyalty is very key. You build customer relations with your customers” he added.

He is however positive that the lack of proper education is to be blamed for the constant fraud saga.

“The challenge they face is lack of education especially those who cannot read and write” he stated.

Telecom operators have over the period tried to warn the public about this development through media announcements but the situation has not improved.

Head of Cybercrime Unit at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Chief Superintendent Dr. Herbert Yankson believes Telco’s must be vigilant in their operations as it remains a key factor in fighting the crime.

“A lot of the data in there are incorrect. People are registering with false identity and unfortunately, the Telco’s don’t have a way to validate the kind of identity that they present to them and those are the challenges” he lamented.

Meanwhile, he assures that the police are working earnestly to clamp down on the rate at which mobile money fraud is rising.

By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/