Although Mobile Money (MoMo) has resulted in financial inclusion of the poor and unbanked in developing economies, it has also become a target for fraudsters whose activities have led to the loss of money, stealing of passwords and even deaths of vendors.
A former fraudster has come out to confess how his cohorts take over existing MoMo accounts.
According to the man whose face was blurred in a video cited by GhanaWeb on social media, it is a common way swindlers, sometimes vendors included, steal cash from their victims’ MoMo wallet.
He explained that fraudsters breach data by hacking social security number, as well as login information.
“This process is done literally within minutes,” he said.
He said they make a wild guess of any number and then visit the networker provider with cooked up stories that the real owner of the number had lost the sim card hence needed a new number.
Giving a step by step account on how it is done, the former fraudster stated, “The ICC number is what we need. Once we get it, we get every detail of the person and then replace the Sim card similar to theirs. We visit any office of the telecommunications company then tell a believable lie”.
He disclosed that it is a practice even vendors usually use to dupe unsuspecting account holders.
“When we hack your account, we move to your account system which is the same process as how monies are stolen from bank accounts. The evolution of IT has made it easy for thieves to carry on with the operation.”
The emergence of Mobile Money was seen to be a great initiative as it makes moving of cash from one place to the other easy but the recent attacks on MoMo vendors as well as theft from victims’ wallets have become alarming and an issue of worry.
Despite the numerous theft cases reported, only 10% have been investigated and prosecuted, Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has revealed.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful blamed the slow pace at which mobile money fraud cases are prosecuted on the use of fake IDs to register SIM cards which makes it difficult for the police to identify the perpetrators.
Watch the full video below.