Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome, Member of Parliament (MP) for South Tongu has called for an immediate action to address the rising level of internet fraud using fake accounts created in the name of MPs and prominent citizens in the country.
According to him the spate of internet fraud in Ghana was rising at an alarming level, and urgent action was needed to address the problem.
Mr Woyome made the call when he presented a statement on the floor of Parliament on the spate of cyber fraud using fake account created in the name of MPs and other prominent citizens in the country.
He explained that in recent times, many Ghanaians mostly the vulnerable and the needy, who are desperately looking for employment and other educational support have fallen victims to these scams by these fraud syndicates.
He clarified that these cyber fraudsters create fake Facebook and other social media accounts in the names of public officers, especially MPs and other prominent people in society.
He explained that these fraudsters download profiles, images and other information of MPs and other prominent personalities to make the page appear credible and believable, adding that, in some instances, “it almost impossible to tell, which of the multiple accounts in the name of the MP is the credible official account”.
According, Mr Woyome, these fraudsters were taking advantage of the use of the mobile money transfer system to dupe unsuspecting victims of various sums of money.
“I am one of those whose profile and images have been used to dupe people and so are other MPs. In the last few days, I have received several complaints from people who have been duped with a fake account on Facebook in my name. I have made an official complaint to the Police about these fraudsters”, he added.
Mr Woyome also stated that the investigations to uncover the persons behind these fraudulent acts have been quite slow and nothing substantive had derived from those investigations by the Police.
He therefore called on the Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye to invite the major stakeholders in the area of cybersecurity, internet fraud and the telecommunication companies to take swift actions to address this menace.
This he noted would help protect the vulnerable victims and safeguard the image of Parliament, Parliamentarians, public institutions as well as prominent citizens.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu commended Mr Kobena Woyome for brining such an important issue to the fore.
He said as a victim of cyber fraud, the statement gives him the opportunity to redeem a lost reputation.
He explained that his office had to issue five statements to explain himself that he had nothing to do with advertisements related to payment of money between GH¢300.00 to GH¢500.00 for the purpose of recruitment into any institution in the public service.
Mr Iddrisu also indicated statistics on cyber cases between 2016- 2018 showed that cybercrime was growing and portends great danger for the country.
He called for adequate resourcing and specialised training for the Ghana Police Service to be able to deal increasing cybercrime cases in the country.
Mr Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader noted that the statement offered the MPs the platform to disassociate themselves from the manipulations of fraudsters and criminals outside.
He said the social media exist to inform, educate and entertain those who access it and had, thus, come to stay, “but unfortunately, the trend that the social media is assuming is degenerating into wrong attributions and vilifications as well as compromising the integrity of persons and institutions”.
The Majority Leader also indicated that social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were now seriously infested with criminals and fraudsters who pretend to be representing the interest of persons and institutions that had no association with.
He said these fraudsters prey on persons outside the country in particular from countries such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and reiterated the need for urgent action to address the issue.