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Communication Minister urges Telcos collaboration to Fight Mobile Money Fraud

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Communication Minister, Ursula Owusu Ekuful
Communication Minister, Ursula Owusu Ekuful

The Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, has called for greater collaborations among telecommunication companies to help fight mobile money (MoMo) fraud.

She said it would be important for Telcos to work together to report incidents of fraud to the National Cyber security centre for the schemes of fraudsters to be uncovered.

In an interview with the New Crusading GUIDE, last Thursday in Accra, the Minister explained that reporting ongoing cases, would aid the centre to develop appropriate solutions to fight the fraud.

If they keep it to themselves without sharing, the security services and the Ministry of Communications will not be able to work together to develop adequate response mechanisms to tackle it and also preempt the next moves of fraudsters”, she hinted.

Pointing out the dangers that come along with using technology, Madam Owusu Ekuful, again called for intensified education for MoMo subscribers about secured ways in using technology for transactions.

As we promote financial inclusion, we need to educate people about secured ways in using technology for their transactions”, she indicated.

Until Telcos deploy MoMo officers to help consumers with fraud awareness on how to avoid it, she said, they still will be lagging behind the ‘criminals’.

According to the Communication Minister, since the fraudsters have realized that consumers and some agents are oblivious to vulnerabilities in MoMo services, they take advantage of it to defraud them.

Even though you think you are operating a small mobile money joint, you are in cyber space and people can use that same means to defraud you, so we only need to step up education”, she indicated.

Derek Laryea, Communications Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications in a separate interview reiterated the need for awareness creation, stressing that the target groups should be consumers, police and the media.

While the consciousness would reduce the ignorance in the country, he observed that it would deepen the understanding of police personnel to provide timely solutions for complaints.

Fraud in relation to mobile money is rising at a greater pace in the country with fraudsters become more advanced in their skims, however, human skills and processes would be needed to combat fraud issues.

He suggested that, the education should be extended to the Judiciary services for better adjudication, given that most of the courts do not get the full understanding of MoMo cases that go before them.

Already, Ghana’s telecommunication giant MTN, has started with the awareness creation in some parts of the country among Journalists, agents and consumers alike.

The steps are to make sure that the soaring numbers of subscribers do not fall prey to the enticing skims of scammers.

Two weeks ago Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) in collaboration with MTN and e-Crime Bureau held a day’s conference to help create the MoMo fraud awareness and educate the vulnerable in the society to be cautious in their dealings.

The mobile money team from MTN, took members of JBA through some technical presentation to equip them with happenings in the industry while personnel from e-Crime Bureau enhanced participants with the requisite knowledge on the internet aspect of it, all geared towards helping them (JBA) understand the safety mechanisms that has been put in place for a successful and safe use of the platform.

The Principal Consultant of e-Crime Bureau, Mr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, stated that citizens who use the service must be made aware of the associated risks so they could take the necessary precautions in the face of the increasing rate of mobile money fraud.

He told journalists in an interview after the orientation workshop on Mobile Money Fraud that “the first thing you take into consideration to address mobile money fraud is to create awareness. Citizens who are patrons of the service should be aware of the risks so they can take the necessary precautions at the individual level.

He indicated that some of the fraud bothered on identification issues and it was, therefore, expected that when the country rolls out the National Identification System, it would help.

Source: Paa Kwesi Agyefi




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