Mobile telephone network operators have intensified sensitisation on how to detect swindlers.
Of recent the phenomenon of mobile money theft is gaining grounds. As the days go by, scammers derive new strategies to extort money from their victims. Most often they claim to have mistakenly send money to a particular mobile money account and plead with the receiver to resend the money. Another strategy is by sending an SMS that one has won a lot while giving a contact number and name for the person to get the lot. At times most people fall victim while others simply outsmart them as well.
Linda Dikonge, a Douala city dweller recounts how she lost FCFA 100,000 to the fraudsters, “One morning I received a message instructing me to confirm the withdrawal of FCFA 100,000. Without a second thought, I confirmed with my code, after which I realised it was a scam. I tried getting back to the person to no avail”. On the other hand Frank Ndongo said once, he received an SMS that his mobile money account has been credited with FCFA 45,000, while he was still struggling to read the message, the sender called that it was an error that he should resend the money. Frank Ndongo said he simply copied the same SMS while reversing the name of the sender and the receiver and sent it to the same number and immediately the supposed sender called and insulting him.
Managing risk in mobile money is a challenging task, especially when it comes to the risk of fraud. Fraud not only results in financial loss to customers or a mobile money provider, but it also damages the reputation of the service to the customer and risks the reputation of the telecom company as a whole. As such, mitigating the risk of fraud is a primary objective in a robust risk management strategy. Mobile operators are familiar with managing risks on the GSM side of the business and those that have launched mobile money are aware that mobile money carries different kinds of risk – particularly the risk of fraud. In effect CT met with the Stakeholder Management and Media Relations Coordinator at MTN Cameroon, Paul Henri Mbongo, who explained that they have re-enforced sensitisation. He said whenever a client lays a complaint at the gendarmerie or police, MTN comes in to support and ensure that culprits are brought to book. He said the company can’t block somebody’s number as they respect the integrity of clients.
Paul Henri Mbongo reiterated that their clients should be vigilant as MTN will never send a message attributing it to a specify number or individual. He called on clients not to type in their pin code if they have not carry out any transactions.