The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Mobile Money Limited, Shaibu Haruna has reiterated the telco’s commitment to fighting mobile money fraud, saying they have, among other things, trained some 180 Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) staff in the required skills to investigate and prosecute momo fraud-related issues.
He was speaking at the MTN National MoMo Awards event to reward its outstanding merchants, agents, stakeholders, and partners from across the country.
In year 2022, the Bank of Ghana reported over GHS82 million worth of fraud within the banking and digital finance sector. Out of the total, mobile money alone accounted for more than GHS26 million.
Mobile money fraud comes in various forms, but largely through social engineering, in which the fraudsters get the victim involved in the whole scheme designed to defraud them. There are a few cases in which fraudsters collaborated with person with the telcos and banks to use the route of SIM swap to exact their fraud.
Industry players have been rolling out various measures to stem MoMo fraud. In the main, they employ customer education, while a few, like MTN have also implemented a predictive AI toll to preempt fraudsters via their communication they send their target victims.
MTN and Vodafone have also developed APIs that establish communication between them and banks to ensure that any SIM swapped cannot be used for any financial transactions for at least 48 hours, which is enough time to determine if the swap was genuine or fraudulent.
While the dividends of all those initiatives are yet to be confirmed, Shaibu Haruna said MTN has taken the fight to another level through a partnership with EOCO, to ensure fraudsters are not only stopped but are also traced, arrested, prosecuted and jailed if found guilty.
“We have trained over 180 EOCO staff across the country to equip them with the required skills to investigate and prosecute digital financial-related crimes. We are very hopeful that very soon more MoMo-related crimes will be prosecuted speedily, which will serve as a deterrent to other scammers,” he said.
According to the MTN MoMo boss, the company has also intensified its mass education to drive awareness of the various fraud typologies, while encouraging customers to be vigilant and observe the golden rule, which emphasizes on keeping one’s PIN and other MoMo details a secret.
He assured customers that MTN will continue to enhance its systems to make them more robust to fight fraud, emphasizing however that there is a need for shared responsibility by all in the fight against MoMo fraud and its related issues, and that is why it is critical for customers to be vigilant and for law enforcement to also hand down deterrent sentences to fraudsters.
Shaibu Haruna also acknowledged the instrumental role its partners such as the momo merchants and agents have played in the success of mobile money, and re-echoed the need for their inclusion in the MoMo fraud fight.
Some 44 awards in six categories, namely:
1. Best Agent for All (16) Regions
2. Best Merchants for All Regions
3. Best Mobile Money Agents over 3 Sales Regions
4. Stakeholders/Partners Awards
5. Overall Best Agent
6. Overall Best Merchant