Increase In Mobile Money Fraud: Swindlers Target Financial Institutions -BOG Raises Alarm

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has raised alarm over the increasing rate of mobile money fraud in financial institutions, particularly, banks in the country.

According to the Central Bank, swindlers have targeted banks, using dubious ways, including pretending to be staff of telecommunication companies (Telcos) to execute their fraudulent agenda.

The BoG has disclosed that, its monthly and fraud incident report submitted by financial institutions over the last quarter has showed a persistent increase in the number of institutions falling victims to mobile money fraud in the country.

Explaining how the crime is committed, the Head of Financial Stability Department at the BoG, Dr Joseph France, said that, typically, bank staff (tellers in most cases) receive a call from someone holding him or herself as an employee of one of the Telco’s or the caller claims to be calling from the institutions head office.

The caller then informs the bank staff that he or she has been authorised to train staff on the reversal process on the mobile money, he stated.

As part of the process, the staff will be asked to enter certain codes on the mobile platform, and the codes entered lead to debiting of the banks mobile wallet, Dr France further explained.

To this effect, the BoG has said that, it would embark on creating awareness on the situation.

“Per its mandate, the Bank of Ghana intends to raise awareness among institutions to this particular fraud to help minimise its occurrence,” the BoG said in a statement.

In addition, the Central Bank has issued out directives to all financial institutions to be mindful of a new mobile money fraud type, which some institutions have already fallen victim to.

The institution advised banks to ensure that all staff are made aware of the new deceptive scheme and advised that, banks should have at least two people handling all mobile money transactions at a branch.

“The designated officials shall be at the management level at the branch/agency typically Branch Manager of Operations. The designated MoMo staff must not take instructions directly from the Telco’s representatives.”

BoG also urged that any communication between representatives of Telcos and bank staffs should be approved first by the Telcos’ head office.

Banks and other financial intuitions have been to improve upon its fraud intervention measures to also continue to promptly share incidences of fraud to the BoG.