5 Ways to Guard Against Mobile Money Fraud

Savvy cyber criminals have developed sophisticated means to rob unsuspecting users of the mobile money service as well as users of other electronic payment services.

Fraud particularly on the Mobile Money service have been on the rise. According to a report by MTN, it receives about 365 complaints of fraud from subscribers every month. It also said it has blocked over 400,000 scam messages daily on its network. The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication also says it has recorded 388 cases of fraud across networks in 2016 alone.

If you have not yet been targeted, good on you. But just like any other crime, you are not totally insulated unless you take extra precaution. We belief that these five measures can help guard against Mobile Money fraudsters.


In what is called “Cash Out” fraud, subscribers to the Mobile Money service are pushed payment approval prompt and lured to enter their PIN Code in order to receive a price won or for a particular service say (phone book backup or job alerts) to be enabled on their phone. This action authorises payment of money from the consumers’ wallet to the fraudster’s wallet. At all cost protect your personal information from unknown sources. If for any reason you suspect that your personal identification number is in the wrong hands, change it quickly and report to your network provider or the police.


Fraudsters invent convincing messages to get your attention and then your money. Mostly these messages come promising some unexpected money that you have won or are likely to win or some imported goods sent by a relative which you have to pay in order to redeem. Know this, mana doesn’t fall from the sky anymore. Think twice before you give out your personal information in response to these messages. You will not get any money you are not expecting and you are most likely not going to win any lottery by giving out your pin or sending mobile money. You are only going to be defrauded.


Cyber crooks create mobile applications that mimic the original ones that banks and other financial institutions develop in order to phish relevant personal information and to steal your money. Other payment service providers also have apps to enable transactions from banks to mobile wallets and vice versa. To avoid being a victim, always check the authenticity or the originality of these apps before downloading and installing them. When in doubt always verify from the service provider for specific security features and links to the original apps. When you are certain you have the original application, don’t hesitate to enable the two factor verification functions on these apps to secure your personal information and money.


One of the many tricks that these crooks use is to call unsuspecting subscribers to the mobile money service and ask them to revert money sent to them by mistake. First, they send you a message saying you have received X amount of money from John Doe then they follow up immediately with a call saying it’s a wrong transaction and ask that you send the money back to them. A mobile money alert will always come from your service provider and not any other person’s number. Nevertheless, always check your balance to see if it tallies with the amount they are asking you to resend. Even if it does, call your service provider first for assistance before you proceed.


To safe guard the security of the system, always report any dubious transaction. Systems have been put in place to track and arrest cyber criminals. However, it will be nearly impossible if such crimes are not reported. Cyber criminals are savvy, their antics are as well dynamic and it is only when they are reported that systems and policies can be changed to properly enhance your safety and security.


The Bottom line is, a lot of money changes hand on the Mobile Money service daily. A BoG report indicates that in 2017, transactions on the service amounted to over GH¢ 109bn. These numbers will definitely attract crooks. Stay guarded.



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