Stakeholders call for more education on MoMo fraud

Stakeholders at this year’s cyber security workshop on mobile money (MoMo) fraud have called for more education to help prevent people from being defrauded.

According to them, even though a lot is being done to create awareness of the growing menace, more people are getting defrauded which suggests that the approach needs to be modified to ensure that the education reaches everyone since fraud is no respecter of persons.

In his opening address at the cyber security workshop in Accra, the National Cyber Security Adviser to the Minister of Communication, Albert Antwi-Bosiako observed that 75% of MoMo fraud cases can be prevent once people have the right information and education and are adequately aware of what to do.

Mobile money fraud is not one of the highly sophisticated fraud that we know off, but due to inadequate information people are being defrauded daily,” he noted.

He mentioned that out of the 500 cyber fraud cases recorded in December 2019, 50% were MoMo related, while the rest were recruitment and procurement fraud among others.

He added that, that notwithstanding, Mobile Money remains an important developmental initiative in the country particularly with regard to financial inclusion therefore a lot must be done to safeguard the it.

The cyber security workshop on mobile money fraud is part of activities to mark this year’s national cyber security awareness month. The aim of the workshop is to engage with the public to share awareness and best practices as well as explores knowledge among stakeholders.

MoMo fraud, MTN, E-crime bureau, cyber security

Godwin Tamakloe, MTN Mobile Money Executive, observed that MoMo fraud has been a concern to the industry, adding that the actions and inactions of stakeholders affects efforts at safeguarding the mobile money ecosystem.

He was, however, hopeful that at the end of the awareness month, stakeholders would work together with a common purpose to develop policy initiatives to safeguard the system.

Once the consumer loses trust in the system it negatively affects the market so it good that we stop working in silos and come together to prevent and protect the ecosystem by sharing information,” he stressed.

Read also: Ghanaians unprepared for cyber threats

Eric Kwaku Mensah, Head, Technical Operations at eCrime Bureau Ghana, was of the view that most subscribers are unaware of the various schemes being employed by the fraudsters despite the numerous public awareness campaigns from the service providers. He therefore encouraged the service providers to intensify the awareness and control access rights to enhance prevention of fraud.

It is very important to put in place policies to control and monitor what third party in the ecosystem are involved in,” he stressed.

According to Kwame Agyapong Oppong, Head of FinTech and Innovation-Bank of Ghana, one key action undertaken by the Bank of Ghana to protect the sanctity of the mobile money system was to update the laws beyond the Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) license to Payment System and Service Act to license third parties. He added that apart from the rigorous licensing procedures, the FinTechs were taken through risk, legal and technology requirements.

We have rigorous process of accessing level of security and technological readiness of the FinTechs so that they could have some appreciable level of security to mitigate or ward of these fraudsters. We will continue to evolve our policy and regulations to ensure the safety of the system,” he assured.

ACP Dr. Herbert Yankon of the Criminal and Investigation Department (CID) reiterated that one of the ways to overcome the MoMo fraud canker is continuous education. He also stressed the need to fast track the national identity system to help in tracing, arresting and prosecuting of perpetrators.

Tamakloe reiterated that MTN has invested about USD 2.5m to secure Artificial Intelligence (AI) and enhance security which could even remotely block SIM cards that are being used to perpetuate fraud. He hinted that, this year, 50 people have been arrested and plans are in place to publish their identity as a deterrent for others who would want to engage in such acts.

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