Mr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Principal Consultant, e-Crime Bureau said the MM sector is experiencing different fraud schemes and other security breaches and the weaknesses in national identification systems and SIM registration lapses were being exploited to perpetrate the fraud.
He made this observation at the third in the series of capacity building workshop on MM fraud for media practitioners.
The workshop organised by MTN Ghana in collaboration with E-Crime Bureau was on the theme: “Mobile Money prospects in Ghana and role of the media in countering mobile money fraud.”
He said evidence suggested that, social engineering tricks were being employed to defraud MM subscribers, adding that some MM fraud schemes included customer driven fraud, agent driven fraud and other fraud schemes.
He said criminals target MM subscribers through fake text messages, or calls on MM promotion, fictitious e-mails purporting to be associated with a particular MM transaction, impersonation for fraudulent MM transfers, among others.
Mr Antwi-Boasiako advised subscribers not to send money to any person in anticipation to win MM award, and to verify messages requesting for the transfer of money from MM service providers.
Mr Eli Hini, the General Manager, Mobile Financial Service, MTN said MTN recognised the seriousness of the menace and “we are taking steps to ensure we educate our customers.”
He said the workshop was aimed at creating the understanding and awareness on Mobile Money operations, bridging the knowledge gap on MM operations among media personnel and identifying a common security, fraud and money laundering challenges confronting MM operations.
Mr Hini said the workshop was also to educate the media so that they could support in the public education, because the more people became aware, the less vulnerable they would be.
He said MTN had undertaken several steps to ensure that, their system was robust enough to provide a secured service, and as a result be granted certification demonstrating that MTN Mobile Money had enhanced services that met international standards.
Mr Hini noted, however, that MM had experienced a few setbacks with fraud, which had so far been customer related, including phishing, advance fee scam, overcharging by merchants, identity theft, or impersonation and cash out theft.
He said this was a serious cause for concern and MTN was working hard with the police service and e-crime Bureau to bring the situation under control.
“As MTN pursues its vision ‘to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world’, we will work closely with security agencies to curb the growing concern about MM fraud.”
Mr Solomon Hayford, Analytics and Compliance, MTN MM, said customers who used MM services were required to possess a SIM card of a service provider, and subscribed to the service with a valid national identity document.
He said the major players in the MM ecosystem, include, mobile network operators, regulators, financial institutions, subscribers, agents, third party provider and law enforcement agencies.
He noted that individuals must endeavor to manage their own wallet in order to avoid the scams of fraudsters.
“To manage your MM wallet, choose a four digit pin that can be remembered, do not choose your date of birth, telephone number, license plate, address or easy to guess combination, memorise your pin, do not write them down in a book, or on your phone and always remember to shield your keypad when entering your pin at agent point during transaction.”
Mr Hayford urged subscribers to also change their pin regularly, at least once every month, to password protect their phones and not to share or give their pin out to third parties, or agents.
He urged the media to more advocacy to promote MM patronage, on review of national policy and regulations to support the growth and the security of the MM industry, on promoting the National Identification System and on consumer right.
“The media can also create awareness on MM fraud by reporting on MM fraud incidents, on emerging MM fraud trends, on MM transaction best practices. You can also engage MM providers, and other stakeholders.”