The New Mobile Money Scam Of June 2020 And How To Dodge it .
The mobile money service is one of the most-used services on mobile phones here in Ghana.
Apart from making calls and sending text messages, sending and receiving money via Mobile Money is the next most important activity most people perform on their mobile phones.
Since the introduction of the Mobile Money service into the Ghanaian telecom space, business transactions have become a lot easier and faster.
Currently, more than 20% of the Ghanaian population uses the Mobile Money service, out of which more than 80% are MTN users.
MTN Ghana’s Mobile Money service is the most prominent Mobile Money service in the country currently with thousands of agents scattered across the length and breadth of the nation.
If there is one thing that humans love to hear, it is money. So, with the amount of money at stake in the Mobile Money industry, some unscrupulous people keep devising means of defrauding others of their hard-earned cash through Mobile Money frauds.
Over the years, there have been various forms of frauds which keep evolving. The most recent one before June 2020 is the wrong transfer fraud where someone sends fake Mobile Money message to your line, indicating that they had transferred some amount of money into your account.
They would then call you to confirm if you have received the message. If you fail to check your account balance after receiving such message, they may convince you to reverse their money to them via a process they’ll lead you through. Many people have been duped through this means and many more are still falling victim to it today.
Interestingly, these ‘Scammers’ have discovered that most people do not fall for the Wrong Number Scam anymore, due to the awareness creation carried out by MTN Ghana and some other organizations and individuals.
In order not to go out of ‘business’, these unscrupulous individuals have found a new way to scam people effective from June 2020.
This new method is a bit surprising. When I was first introduced to it, I was completely wowed. I least expected that from anyone.
So, one Sunday afternoon, I was at home relaxing when I got a call from a strange line. Frankly, I was very tired so I had decided not to answer strange calls but that caller was very lucky that I answered his call.
When I answered the call, it was a young man on the other side. He inquired about my health and how my day was going. He spoke Twi.
Though my Twi isn’t that effective, I was able to communicate with him. So when we finished exchanging pleasantries and he was okay with everything, thinking he had my attention, he dropped the bomb.
He said, ‘Please, when are you sending the money?’ I did not quite understand, so I asked him to repeat. He said again, ‘I am the one they said you should send the money to.’ At this point, I became more confused. I started thinking hard to find out if I was owing anyone. Frankly, I was owing to some people at the time. So I was really confused. So I asked him again; ‘which money and how much?’ He replied; ‘You know already, boss. Just send the money. I am waiting.’
At this point, I started realizing something unusual so I hang up the call. He called back again. When I asked him the same question, he was trying to be aggressive this time around so I turned off my phone for some time. He never called back again. I thought it was a wrong number.
Three days later, a different person called my other MTN line with a similar issue again. This time, I wanted to understand how exactly this works, so I played along with him.
When I asked him if I could send the money to the number he called me with, he told me to pay to a number he’d send to me. So I agreed.
He sent the number and I tried sending some money to the account. When I tried, I got the name of the person behind the account. It was a female name.
I then sent him a fake Mobile Money text, claiming I had sent him the money. He never called me back again.
Later, a friend of mine also complained of the same thing to me. Then, I realized that it is a new trend for scammers.
Now, if you owe someone that you are supposed to pay within a certain time, you can fall prey to these guys when they call you. They can find ways to enter your head and make you send the money to them when you allow them.
Some of us talk too much so once they start talking to you, you may end up mentioning names of people you owe and all that. They can capture this information and get you through another line at another time.
The best thing for you to do is that whenever you receive such calls, once you answer the call and realize what the person intends doing, just hang up and block their contact if possible.
Remember that before someone can defraud you through your Mobile Money account, they need your approval. So if you allow yourself to be used, they would end up using your money to build big houses and buy big cars while you still struggle to survive.
Let us all be very careful and prevent these thieves from stealing our money.
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