We should all be concerned about Mobile Money fraud even if we are sure that personally, we can never fall victim to the scammers.
Mobile Money fraud — just like every other criminal act before it — seems to have come to stay. The criminals keep devising new methods with which they can scam money out of the often unsuspecting victims. This makes it an ever-evolving enterprise; meaning it is going to get harder to stop them no matter what measures the telecommunication companies and the state put in place to make it an unattractive venture.
This is why the success or otherwise of the telcos and regulatory bodies’ preventive efforts depend on the individual Mobile Money subscriber.
This instalment of our MoMo fraud series would focus on why everyone should be concerned about Mobile Money fraud.
Should you be concerned about Mobile Money fraud?
Yes, you should. Even if as an individual, you’re not a subscriber to MTN Mobile Money or any of the mobile e-wallet services, you should be concerned because it can affect you in another manner. How?
Our elderly folk
Even if you’re personally not a subscriber to any of the non-bank mobile money platforms, chances are that a relative somewhere in the rural areas depends on their Mobile Money account to receive allowances from you or any other benefactor. Assuming that the elder in question is not someone who’s savvy when it comes to modern day technology, the possibility of them seeking help from people other than yourself — whenever they encounter issues with their account — is very high.
That would not be a problem if they’re dealing with an honest person. However, the risk that they could be seeking help from an opportunist is always present. And if they happen to trust someone of that nature then, a significant portion of the money you’ve been sending for their upkeep could be going into the wrong pockets without you knowing.
Even though you’ve done everything possible to avoid falling for their scams, you ended up losing money to them via another channel. Back to square one.
Businesses are at risk
Another reason why you should be concerned about Mobile Money fraud is the fact that the credibility of online businesses have taken a significant hit due to the activities of these criminals. It is common knowledge that one of the channels the fraudsters use is the online business space; posing as genuine business people. From there, they set up all sorts of shop to scam money from unsuspecting buyers in return for inferior products or no goods at all.
Because of their activities, some genuine businesses have had to take certain risks, such as accepting ‘pay on delivery‘ terms in order to prove they are not into any funny games.
It becomes a security issue
We should all be concerned about Mobile Money fraud because just like every other crime, it poses a security risk to the citizenry. There have been a number of reports of being robbed of their phones and the assailants asking to be given the Mobile Money PINs. Imagine being attacked because someone wants to gain access to your mobile wallet. This is how dangerous it can get, and that is why even when we are sure that we can never be victims of the MoMo scammers, we should all be concerned about Mobile Money fraud and how it is rapidly spreading and evolving.
This article on why we should all be concerned about Mobile Money fraud is part of a series JBKlutse.com is developing to educate the public about Mobile Money fraudsters, their activities, and how to stay vigilant and not be a victim.
Credit: JB Klutse