Yes, MTN Mobile Money (MOMO) scam is on the rise.
Customers are complaining and asking so many questions.
What do you do if you’re frauded by a fake MTN representative?
Maybe you are one of such customers and wondering where you can report MTN Scams, how to report and when you can report your scam incidence?
Well, you don’t need to do much to report fraudulent incidences. MTN Ghana is willing to support you in every way possible. The steps involved are just simple!
We’ve prepared this guide just for you. Yes, you! To tell you more about the processes.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- Types of Mobile Money Scam
- MTN Mobile Money Scam Reporting: More Questions!
- MTN Insurance
- What Is MTN Ghana Doing To Fight MOMO Fraud?
Types of Mobile Money Scam
There are several means by which these fraudsters take advantage of mobile money customers. One is by calling these customers anonymously. Customers at times receive calls from fraudsters after deposits or transfer of cash to persuade them about certain benefits and rewards they can attain.
Similarly, customers are lured to authorize the cash-out transactions with the claim of winning the Mobile Money promotion.
Also, customers are pushed to approve payment prompts and lured to enter their pin code in order to receive the price won through Mobile Money.
Phone call scamming
Fraudsters calling to dupe customers under the pretext of delivering goods from abroad. Some fraudsters call and ask for specified amounts to be deposited into a mobile money account, in exchange for goods from relatives/friends from abroad.
False Cash out SMS
Fraudsters send false cash out messages to merchants for authorization of which the physical cash is issued by the merchant to the fraudster without the equivalent e-cash.
False Promotion SMS
Fraudulent consumers send fake SMS to agents either from their own handsets or generated from their computers. Usually, the SMS looks genuine to the recipient.
The victims of the mobile money scam cut across all segments of the Ghanaian society, including actors and actresses, media practitioners, health workers, business people, and the very vulnerable.
MTN Mobile Money Scam Reporting: More Questions!
MoMo Services in Ghana
MTN Mobile Money Limited was the first company to launch a mobile money service in Ghana on July 21st, 2009. They celebrated their 10th anniversary in the West African country in 2019.
The idea was launched with two main services namely Money Transfer (P2P) and Airtime Purchase, the platform now has six major categories of financial transactions under which varying services are provided.
The services are pensions, insurance, savings, microloans, shopping, payments, international remittances and banking/investment options.
Indeed, almost all the products and services of financial technology (fintech) platforms in the country are powered by MoMo payment systems.
How Well Is MoMo Growing?
Over the past decades, the use of mobile money in Ghana has grown exponentially making Ghana one of Africa’s leaders force in mobile money innovation, adoption, and usage.
According to statistics from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), mobile money accounts are now even more than bank accounts and greater financial inclusion has profited to an extent larger bands of the population that remain unbanked such as the poor, the young, and women.
Despite the fact that access to traditional banking services continues to remain a mirage for most Ghanaians, the general availability of mobile phones has given millions of people an opportunity to access mobile money services in the country.
Most Ghanaian phone users now depend on MOMO transactions to send and receive money domestically. Lately, they’ve also been given an opportunity to send and receive money internationally.
How Can I Contact MTN Ghana And Report Fraud Issues?
MTN Ghana takes the abuse of its network and services very seriously. They can offer you help to stop any fraudulent activity in case you have any suspicions of fraudulent activity.
In order to do so, you need to submit a report to the email dedicated to fraud (CRFraudqueries@mtn.com)
As soon as you submit or send in a report, it will remain confidential and MTN will not disclose your identity to anyone.
What Kind of Information Can Assist With Investigations?
In order for MTN to start an investigation into your report, certain information such as the following will be needed
- Details of witnesses
- Dates, times and places
- Sums of money involved
- Frequency of the suspicious act
- Details or the location of any proof
- Names, addresses and contact numbers
- Any additional information you think may help
- A certified copy of your ID and a police affidavit (confidentiality guaranteed)
How can I protect myself against Cellphone Scams?
You can do the following in order to protect yourself against cellphone fraud:
- Make sure you save your device’s IMEI number in a safe place in order to have it blacklisted if and when stolen – you can check most devices’ IMEI numbers by dialing *#06#)
- Make sure you use a PIN to lock your mobile device and SIM card at all times and ensure your PIN is kept in a safe place
- Keep your eyes and mind always open to theft and don’t use your mobile device in crowded or unsafe areas
- Make sure your mobile device is always kept secure and out of sight, and never leave it unattended to.
- Do not download apps that seem suspicious and questionable. Read customer reviews about apps before you download
- Make sure you back up your data and ensure your device for any unforeseen incidence – you can apply online for a free quote from MTN Insurance)
- Make sure you look out for unusual activity on your monthly bill
- Make sure you remove international calling and roaming features if you don’t need such features
- Don’t waste time, notify your service provider immediately if your device is lost or stolen
How can I protect myself from Identity theft or Subscription Scam?
You can do the following to protect yourself from identity theft or subscription fraud:
- Make sure you safeguard and protect your personal information at home by storing it in a safe place and out of sight
- Never in any way provide your personal information to unknown individuals via telephone, email, or the internet
- Make sure you destroy any documents with personal information you do not need again, e.g., bank statements or payslips
- Make sure you register with the Fraud Prevention Service and apply for protection registration.
- Do not hesitate to request alerts to suspicious activity on your credit report from your credit profile regularly to ensure no unknown accounts are linked to your credit profile
What does MTN Insurance cover?
MTN Insurance covers the following items: phones, laptops, data modems and SIM cards. All Insured devices can be covered against loss, theft and damage (including liquid damage).
What are the benefits of MTN Insurance?
There are a number of benefits you will get for subscribing to MTN Insurance, a number of them are as follows
- You will be covered immediately on acceptance of the risk in accordance with MTN’s underwriting rules
- MTN will make sure you’re back in the same situation before your loss
- MTN will give you a period of 30 days from the date of the incident to make a claim
- MTN will waive the insurance excess on your first claim after four years of no claim
- The is no excess applicable when replacing cellphones valued at GHS 403.73 or less
- All warranty-related claims on a cellphone with an expired warranty will be processed under MTN Insurance
- You are given a period of three months from the date of purchase to take insurance
- All premiums are billed with your subscription/contract fee, in order for you not to receive multiple invoices
- You are given a 360° hassle-free process for repairs on damaged cellphones:
- You are given the opportunity to collect the damaged phone from your preferred address to the repair center
- You will be loaned a phone to use during repairs
- MTN Insurance will transfer all risk in return for a fixed monthly premium
- MTN will deliver the repaired cellphone to your preferred address so they take the loaned phone
What Is MTN Ghana Doing To Fight MOMO Fraud?
MTN Ghana is doing a lot to fight MOMO scam. The Telecom giant is dealing with this puzzle on its mobile money platform largely because it is the most used network and has the biggest market share of about 70%.
Cases of Mobile Money (MOMO) scam, especially on the MTN platform, has been reduced in recent times.
According to the Senior Manager for Anti-money Laundering, Compliance and Analytics at MTN Mobile Money, Godwin Tamakloe, the number of fraud cases on the platform have dropped to 300 cases as of the end of April 2020 from 900 cases in 2019.
Currently, it has secured a partner for its artificial intelligence platform to fight mobile money scam.
The General Manager for MTN Ghana Mobile Money, Eli Hini, made the revelations known to the public during a virtual forum with journalists from across Ghana.
“We have already secured a provider for the artificial intelligence platform and we are currently going through the documentation pending implementation,” he was quoted in a report by techgh24.com.
According to him, MTN is also in the process of building a complete forensic lab for Ghana Police to enhance their ability to deal with MOMO fraud cases in particular.
MTN’s reporting channels are – 1515 (shortcode for SMS) or firstname.lastname@example.org (for email); or you can report to any MTN Service Center, the Ghana Police, or call 100 on MTN and make a report.
Mr. Eli Hini also urged customers to take advantage of the many educative materials on MOMO that MTN churns out on their social media platforms and be advised accordingly.
MTN Mobile Money is currently the overwhelming market leader, but Mr. Eli Hini said it always has not been so, stating that for the first five years of the company’s operation, MTN MOMO never made any profits but the leadership of the company believed in the prospects of the idea and kept investing in it.
Which Number Can I Use To Report An MTN Mobile Money Fraud In Ghana?
There are a number of ways you can use to help MTN Ghana stop fraud on their Network. Remember the fight against fraudsters is like the fight against corruption – any abuse of their service or infrastructure affects us all.
If you are a victim of MTN mobile money fraud or know someone who is a victim, you can follow this simple route to report to MTN issues relating to fraud:
How To Report Fraud To MTN Ghana
You can report to MTN by calling, emailing, or sending an SMS to MTN Ghana. Below are the steps involved:
- You can call 100 or visit any of MTN’s service centers to report your suspicion
- You can contact the email: email@example.com to usher in your complaints
- Or you can send an SMS of the summary of what happened (the number of the fraudster, date when the fraud occurred, the amount involved, and any other information that can help MTN investigate your issue) to 1515.
Why The Drop-In Fraud Cases?
The drop in the MOMO fraud cases can be credited to the sustained mixture of public education and other tactics deployed by the company to arrest the criminal activities of the fraudsters.
Upon setting up a public education awareness, most customers of MTN Mobile Money have started reporting incidences of fraud and suspected MOMO fraud cases to the company for prompt action.
Mr. Tamakloe recently clarified to a number of selected Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) through an online engagement that these improved education initiatives are helping the company to win the war against MOMO fraud.
From him, most of these educational initiatives are usually created in the local dialects of the customers and aired on television (TV) and radio stations across the length and breadth of the West African country.
In addition, he noted that the company recently employed and resourced thousands of mobile money agents nationwide to provide customer and public education for all people irrespective of their networks.
In February of this year, the company launched a new programme aimed at localizing the MOMO education by involving traditional rulers, opinion leaders, churches and mosques, among others to ensure that the messages get to everyone within our communities.
“We are taking the education campaign to the communities, houses, churches, mosques, workplaces, among others to drum home the MOMO fraud campaign”, the General Manager of MobileMoney Limited, Eli Hini, said at the launch of the MOMO U4Know education programme in Agbogbloshie in the Accra metropolis.
Also, MTN’s Mobile Money platform – which is on the MTN Ghana network, is leveraging all MTN-owned openings to disseminate information on fraud to all of its customers together with potential customers.
Mr. Tamakloe stated: “We also engaged in partnerships and training for major associations/communities”.
The spirit of the corporation has forced the company to enter into another form of partnership with the Ghana Police Service to publish arrested and prosecuted cases in the Ghanaian media.
For example, in July of 2017, MTN Ghana partnered with the Ghana Police Service to arrest two culprits. These two were suspected to be involved in Mobile Money scams at Assin Daaman in the Central Region.
They were arrested, following a tip-off from MTN about suspicious activities of a group based in Assin Daaman.
They allegedly sent Mobile Money scam messages to subscribers with the intention of tricking them into sending funds to a designated number. They were arraigned before court and remanded in police custody.
Besides these strategies, the managers of the service are monitoring other tactics being used by the fraudsters and adopting best practices to protect customers from the nefarious activities of the fraudsters.
Recently, they also institute a formalized process for managing fraud arrest and prosecution as well as partnering with the law enforcement agencies to manage fraud cases associated with mobile money in the country.
Similarly, they are deploying world-class technology to identify and deactivate SIM cards used by these fraudsters to deceive and scam customers.
Mobile money fraud which is quite widespread in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, is however beginning to subjugate the Ghanaian mobile money space because of the factors stated above.
These fraudsters are taking advantage of the vulnerabilities within the recognizable loopholes in the country’s national identification system. And ignorance on the part of the MOMO account holders and other factors are aggravating the problem.
According to experts, not all the national identification cards permissible for the registration of mobile money account(s) in Ghana are genuine.
Due to these factors, it is difficult to trace mobile money fraudsters and other criminals in the county.
The national identification cards which are permitted to be used for the registration of mobile money account(s) and SIM cards are; a valid Passport, driver’s license issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card, Voter ID and National ID cards.
Conversely, these criminals take advantage of these agencies mandated to issue these national ID cards. So a number of the ID cards used in mobile money account registrations are faked. This is according to cybersecurity experts.
The Head of Research & Communications at the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Derek Laryea blamed mobile money fraud in the country on customers’ greed and ignorance.
He told African Eye Report that some customers attempt to get more money to solve their pressing demands then end up being cheated by fraudsters.
Additionally, MOMO service providers added that inadequate customer vigilance and compromises are among the contributing factors to mobile money fraud in the country.
Reporting SIM Swap and other Fraudulent Issues
By not reporting or taking action if you have been a victim of fraud, even unsuccessful ones could help the fraudster gain experience and learn how to be successful next time.
In the case of MTN, you can report fraudulent SIM swap and all other fraudulent issues on your line on the IVR through the following steps;
- Dial 180 on your device and follow the voice prompt.
- Press 5 ‘For Support’
- Press 2 ‘To Report Suspected Fraudulent Activity.
In summary, dial 180, press 5 then press 2 to report suspected fraudulent activities.
At a recent virtual annual general meeting (AGM), Mr. Eli Hini, MTN’s General Manager announced that MTN was investing an amount of US$2.5 million into artificial intelligence to be able to predict and trace fraudster activities on the mobile money platform.
Eli Hini further stated that they already have systems that are able to track and locate fraudsters and cause their arrest, adding that so far, intelligence for MTN has led to the arrest of at least 40 fraudsters working from various parts of the country, who are each in police custody pending prosecution.
“We will continue to invest in strategies, systems and processes to ensure that our MOMO platform remains safe and secured – but it would also require our customers to pay attention to the education on MOMO so that the fraudsters would not take advantage of them,” he added.
He clarified that the weakest link in the mobile money value chain is the customer because fraudsters cannot and have never been able to infiltrate the MTN MOMO network, except to target customers and take advantage of their ignorance to defraud them.
The General Manager, therefore, advised customers to always note that MTN would never make any official call to them in order to do any discussion or transaction regarding their MOMO wallet on phone, so such calls should be seen as fraudulent and be reported to MTN through their various reporting channels.
Be vigilant and enjoy safe MTN MOMO transactions.