The convenience of Mobile Money service is being tampered with by unscrupulous persons who are devising creative and sophisticated ways of defrauding users of the service.


At least five out of ten Mobile Money subscribers have either experienced one form of fraud or have been a target for Mobile Money fraudsters/scammers.


Subscribers are mainly targeted through SMS, phone calls, e-mails and social media platforms, among others.


To address the challenges confronting the Mobile Money ecosystem in Ghana, which is destined to contribute to the growth of Ghana's payment system in the next coming years and to safeguard this new payment channel, a workshop has been organized to sensitize the media and equip it with the requisite information about the modus operandi of the fraudsters.


The objective of the capacity-building workshop was, therefore, to empower media personnel to support the growth of the industry which is destined to dominate Ghana’s payment industry for, at least, the next 20 years.


It was organized by the e-Crime Bureau in collaboration with Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Ghana on the theme: ‘Mobile Money Prospects in Ghana and the Role of the Media in Countering Mobile Money Fraud’.


Addressing participants, Mr Eli Hini, General Manager, Mobile Financial Services, noted that the setbacks associated with the Mobile Money service were customer-related and not system-related.


Mr Hini said the fraud cases consisted of phishing, advance fee scams, overcharging by merchants, identity theft/impersonation and cash out thefts which, he said, were  sources of serious concern.


He gave the assurance that as MTN pursued the vision of leading a bold new digital world, it would work closely with the security agencies to curb the growing menace of Mobile Money fraud.


In his remarks, Mr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Founder & Principal Consultant of E-Crime Bureau, advised Mobile Money subscribers to change their Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) at least once in every month, not to save their PIN Codes in their mobile devices, password protect their phones and not share or give their PIN out to third parties.


Mr Antwi-Boasiako disclosed that internet frauds were not limited to Mobile Money transactions alone, but were also being extended to the web portals of some media houses.


He said data from the various incidents and patterns of the attacks and timeline analysis associated with the various attacks suggested a correlation between the media campaign against illegal mining and the current cyber warfare targeting media houses.


He, therefore, urged media organizations to ensure the security of their web portals by protecting system infrastructure through the implementation of regular traffic monitoring, migration from share-hosting to dedicated hosting services, conducting security assessment of the website infrastructure and the deployment of third party applications to detect and prevent cyber intrusions, among other cyber safety best practices.


Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)