Cybercrime : Permanent Threat

It is recurrent to see reports of how cyber criminals have invaded the digital platforms of enterprises and individuals.

Cyber criminality has been on the rise recently in Cameroon with digital pages of public authorities and influential personalities allegedly hacked for dubious purposes. The most recent of such was when officials of the Cameroon Electoral Board announced that the institution’s digital platform was invaded by cybercriminals. This caused an uneasy calm within the political class. 

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According to a release signed by the Chair of the Electoral Board, Enow Abrams Egbe “A Group of ill-intentioned individuals hacked into the official Facebook Account of ELECAM on the night of Tuesday 23rd June 2020 at 10:22pm and posted false information that goes against the functions and ethics of ELECAM.” The hacked account had as profile image, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, Professor Maurice Kamto with the inscription: “The Truth Shall Always Prevail. It’s Just a Matter of Time.” Meanwhile, ELECAM’s official website is also allegedly attacked. Officials of ELECAM declined responsibility over any of such information the public might have received. Some years back, cyber criminals hacked the website of the Presidency of the Republic. In a press release, the then Minister of Communication and government’s spokesperson said the presidential website was under cyber attack. 

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High personalities in the country are often victims of cybercriminals with unscrupulous individuals creating fake accounts bearing their names to extort money. Such is the case with the numerous Facebook and twitter accounts of government ministers seen on social media.  Most of these ministers say they are not on social media. The phone numbers of these top government officials are also under recurrent attacks from scammers. Some months back, one of the phone numbers of the Minister of Mines, Industries and Technological Development, Gabriel Dodo Ndoke was reported to have been hacked by unidentified individuals. In a press release, Minister Dodo Ndoke said unscrupulous individuals are using the number to extort money via social media electronic transfers. He warned his contacts not to pay attention to any publication nor heed to any financial request coming from his number.

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In this period of festivities, these criminals have enlarged their scope to scam even the least of Cameroonians. Those with mobile money accounts are at great risk. There are times the scammers will call an individual saying they have mistakenly sent money into your account and wish you could refund the money. Many people have been victims to such tricks only to realize later that no additional money entered their account. Information from the National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ANTIC) reveals that telephone calls fraud is also rampant in the country. 

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