How To Avoid Being Victim Of Mobile Money Fraud
According to research, mobile money has had more transactions done as compared to that of banks since it’s inception. It is the easiest and fastest way to make transactions, pay bills and make subscriptions at anytime or any day whiles even in your room. Since the introduction of mobile money as a mobile banking feature, it has played a very benefiting role for individual transactions and in businesses as well through it convenience. However, aside being the easiest and fastest way to make money transfers, it has it’s own setbacks. Fraudsters and scammers took the opportunity of it to defraud and scam so many users. As more and more the usage of mobile money grows, so are the dubious ways fraudsters increase and devise new tricks. These fraudsters who take advantage of user’s ignorance to loot their hard earned money are always a step ahead of the telecommunication networks. They will devise a new scheme if they realise that the old trick had been known by telecom networks and mobile money users. This makes it difficult for telecom companies to eradicate fraudsters out of the system even though various efforts are made to curb it.
Ghana and some other African countries suffers the most in Mobile money fraud schemes. Over the years, mobile money users fall victims one way or the other from fraud schemes, losing millions of cedis to fraudsters and you can’t imagine the kind of trauma and frustrations victims go through after losing money to fraudsters. One may ask why can’t the telecommunication companies track fraudsters? Well, that’s a reasonable question but as already said, these fraudsters always try to be a plus step ahead of the telecommunication networks, so when they realise that the old trick is no more working or had been tracked down by the telecom networks, they change their tricks. But don’t worry, in this post I will take you through how to recognize and avoid being scammed, Keep reading!
Mobile Money Scam Tricks You Should Beware
✔ The prize trick: When these fraudsters either guess correctly or get your mobile number from one of your social media handles, they try to transfer money to your mobile money wallet. In process of doing that your registered mobile money name will show and that’s what they wanted. They will call you on phone and mention your name by your registered name. If they guessed right, they will proceed to say they’re calling from a particular mobile telecommunication network’s office and that you have won a prize “A or B”. And tell you to go to a mobile money vendor to help redeem your prize. They will ask you to give the call to the vendor, then they’ll tell the vendor on-the-phone (which you may not hear) you are in to transfer a set amount of money to a certain number(which he will mention to the vendor). Forgetting to ask you anything, the vendor may send the money to them. A lot of people has been victims of this fraudulent trick.
✔ Transfer error scheme: In this trick, you will receive a text message indicating that you have received a set amount of money. You will get a phone call within that moment, he’ll tell you a wrong transfer has been made to your wallet and ask you to transfer it back. If you tend to be a good person, you will end up transferring your money to them. If they couldn’t convince you enough to transfer the money, series of threats will be made to you and even insult you. They will threaten you that your number will be blocked by that particular telecom network in order to withdraw the “ghost money” mistakenly transfered to your wallet. At the same moment, a call will come through, claiming to be a staff of that particular telecom network. He’ll tell you someone has reported your account to be blocked for a wrong transfer. In order to sound professional to gain your trust, he’ll tell you that the first caller was a fraudster trying to have access to your money. He’ll continue that in orders to protect your account, they’ve blocked your account. He’ll proceed on to tell you to go through a step by step process to unblock your account. If you have a bad luck on your side like myself, by the time you complete the purported unblocking process then, you’ll realize you have allowed payment into their account. Note that these scammers always almost sound professional which could catch a glimpse of your attention.
✔ Goods from abroad scam: A number will call you and mention your name as though he knew you. He’ll mention the name of a family member or friend who is in overseas, he’ll tell you the person in oversees has shipped certain goods to you and so you should transfer a certain amount of money in order to get the “ghost goods”. If the guess goes well and is able to convince you, you may transfer money to them and later realise its a scam.
✔ The pretend to be vendor scam: Fraudsters will visit a mobile money vendor, they’ll monitor all users who visit the vendor to make transactions. They will take record of your transaction including your number and the amount transacted. After picking your transaction record, he’ll call you later pretending to be the vendor you earlier made your transactions from. He’ll tell you to send the money back for certain verification and after they get their amount well calculated the money will be transferred to you again. With the trust you have for the vendor you may transfer the money to him and that will be the end of it, you have been scammed!
✔ Pop-up message scam: When these fraudsters get your number, you will see a pop-up message prompting you to enter your Mobile money pin. Once you enter your pin and press OK, you have ignorantly transferred your money to them.
How To Avoid Mobile Money Fraud And Secure Your Account
1. Be well informed
To avoid being a victim of mobile money fraud, you need to be well informed about the advice’s your telecom network provider gives concerning mobile money fraud. You should have their office line to call for verification. If you are well informed, you wouldn’t give ear or attention to fraudsters.
2. Keep your mobile money pin secret
Never under any circumstance should you reveal, mention or type in your mobile money pin to do any kind of setup. Most people mention out loud their pin to vendors when they want to withdraw money, you must not do that! Stop that! Keep your mobile money pin private.
3. Don’t keep huge sum of money in your wallet
Unless you want to make transactions, it’s not advisable to keep large amount of money on your wallet. You should take huge amount of money to the bank instead of keeping it in your mobile wallet. Most banks have mobile banking which you can deposit and make withdrawals from your phone anytime and there’s no need keeping the money in your mobile wallet.
4. Direct all purported “wrong senders” to the telecom network
When purported “wrong transfers” call you to reverse a wrong transfer, tell them to call the telecom network to reverse the wrong transfer. Never try to transfer any money to any number by yourself for wrong transaction claim.
5. Spelling errors and poor English structure
Most of the messages these fraudsters send are full of grammatical errors and their English structure is very poor. They normally speak vernacular or local language, these should alert you where the message is from. The telecom companies have professional staffs and there’s no way they will make such mistakes.
6. Avoid strange contacts
They’ll normally call you with different contacts, no telecom company will call you with different contacts. All telecom networks have fixed contacts that you must be familiar with.
7. Contacts on social media
If not for business purposes, avoid placing your mobile money contacts on social media. It’s one of the places these fraudsters get more information about you.
8. Report suspected contacts
“Prevention is better than cure” hung up and report suspected fraudulent contacts to your telecom network, this helps the telecom network to take swift measures to prevent fraudulent schemes.