Defrauding In The Name Of Mobile Money

By Daily Guide
Opinion Defrauding In The Name Of Mobile Money
MAR 2, 2024 LISTEN

Is our society ever going to get anything right? Our country has elaborate laws and regulations, but like a philosopher once said, “Man is born free and everywhere he or she is in chains.”

The euphoria that greeted our independence about 67 years ago should have catapulted this country into a rich society instead of the beggar nation with cup in hand begging for crumbs from the global North.

While we grope in the dark, we are quick to point at politicians, especially the duty bearers, for our woes. It is very regrettable that some of our people have perforated our laws and regulations so that they can find loopholes to exploit the system.

About two decades ago, financial inclusion was impossible as only a few privileged ones could send money to business associates, friends, family members and loved ones by electronic transfer. But as the technology transfer catches up with us and through government intervention, majority of our people can now apply digital technology to transfer money.

Mobile telephony reached the shores of Ghana in the 1990s thanks to Millicom Ghana Limited. The service kicked off at snail’s pace because even Accra did not have the infrastructure to make use of mobile phones very feasible. But within about two decades, mobile telephony had reached the nooks and crannies of our country. And the service was not limited to voice calls but other utilities like data applications. It then served as a boon to citizens and journalists, culminating in social media for its good and bad today.

The new telecommunications technology has revolutionised the way we communicate across the globe now. The cellular phone can do anything today under the sun, except like a politician said change a man into a woman.

However, it is not only about celebrations but there is gloom and doom in the horizon. Cyber fraud looms large and cause pain and anguish across the country. When in 2009, MTN, the market leader introduced mobile money (MoMo) transfer, the drudgery associated with money transfer was reduced considerably.

Then Vodafone followed with Vodafone Cash, Airtel and tiGo in that order. When one receives money by this arrangement, the feeling between receiver and sender is always exhilarating to the extent of asking for more from both sides. But the story is not always one of celebration.

Ask anyone who has experienced a mobile money fraud and his or her story would be like a funeral ground. The few unscrupulous characters in our midst have been allowed to destroy this good service of our people.

The influx of foreigners in our midst has influenced this negative and destructive behaviour among our people. The way these fraudsters are able to steal people’s money on mobile phones makes some people suspect insider dealings. The activities of these fraudsters are not limited to mobile money companies but to operators of cashless transactions.

They have extended their activities to the ECG, for instance, where those who apply for meters are swindled. These fraudsters are able to locate the details of desperate applicants for meters and sweet talk them into parting with money. These fraudsters have allies in the ECG, MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo and that is why they are able to defraud their victims with ease.

MTN as the market leader, Vodafone or is it telecel, and AirtelTigo as well as ECG must watch their staff in charge of IT services to purge their systems of thieves or robbers, so that the country is not compelled to throw the baby away with the bath water.

With the introduction of the mobile money interoperability that has made the transfer of money from every device and system seamless, we must collectively fight this canker. Today, thanks to the mobile money interoperability, there are some income earners who no longer go to the bank. This innovation led by the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia must not suffer a premature death.

We must in concert kill this appetite of some Ghanaians backed by their West African friends to torpedo the electronic transfer of money. I urge all my compatriots to say no to the efforts to defraud the people in the name of mobile money, and by extension in the name of MTN, Vodafone and Airteltigo, not forgetting ECG.

We know these institutions have a solid reputation to protect but again, our wise people say if the elders sit unconcerned for crime to persist, anytime they count the criminals, they would be included in that list. Act now – the telcos and ECG – to redeem your reputation and safeguard mobile money transfer.