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30.11.2011 Crime & Punishment

'Romance fraud' on the increase

By Daily Graphic
'Romance fraud' on the increase
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New internet fraud nick-named by the police as “romance fraud” is on the increase in Ghana.

The phenomenon manifest where some fraudsters, mostly men in the country, pretend to be marriageable women and through the internet, swindle their unsuspecting would be foreign partners of money.

The fraudsters bait their foreigners by asking them to send them money to facilitate documentation to enable them to join their would-be husbands abroad.

According to the Director-General of the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Prosper Kwame Agblor, who announced this at a news briefing in Accra on Tuesday, said “so far about 45 of such cases from January to October this year have been reported to the police.”

He said 12 of the cases had been prosecuted at the courts, while others were still under investigations.

The Director-General said 13,570 fraud cases were recorded within the first three quarter of the year.

He said Greater Accra region recorded the highest with 5, 860 cases followed by Ashanti region, which listed 1,928.

DCOP Agblor said 279 persons were connected with various fraud cases within the same period.

He said some fraud related crimes recorded included identity theft, business scam, gold fraud, internet fraud, 419 treasure, black money, lottery scam, classified advertisement and national tenders scam.

DCOP Agb10r said the modus operandi of the fraudsters were that they hacked into victims' Electronic mails (E-mails) account block and assume ownership of e-mails and use same to dupe prospective clients.

“There are some who claim to have inherited some funds kept in secret warehouse, looking for a foreign account into which they could transfer some money for a commission,” he added.

He said some E-mails forged documents to companies soliciting for funds to claim the alleged treasure inherited, with a promise of giving a percentage of the treasure to the said companies.

“E-mail users should refrain from providing their Bio-data to websites they are not conversant with,” he added.

He appealed to the public and media practitioners to volunteer credible information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of fraudsters.

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