Individuals, companies lose $18.5m through cyber fraud

 ACP Addo-Danquah (fourth from right), and other participants. Photo: Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi

ACP Addo-Danquah (fourth from right), and other participants. Photo: Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi

Individuals and companies have so far this year lost 18.5 million dollars through cyber fraud.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo- Danquah, Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department, who disclosed this, said 35 million dollars was lost through all the forms of cyber crime in 2016.

She announced this at the opening of a five-day training course on cyber crime investigations and digital forensic for 24 security personnel, in Accra yesterday.

ACP Addo-Danquah did not give the number of companies and individuals affected, but noted that many institutions and businesses were at risk.

“The cases include investment scam, electronic mail compromise, identity theft, mobile money scam, social media impersonation and Automated Teller Machine fraud,” she added.

ACP Addo-Danquah indicated that most criminals gather intelligence on their prospective victims from social media networks, and leverage on it, to perpetuate the crimes.

According to her, the trend was “very worrying,” and stressed the need to build the capacity of the CID and the Cyber Unit in particular to fight the growing menace.

She said internet penetration rate was increasing year by year in Ghana with the current figure at 29 per cent.

The Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in a speech read on her behalf by Mr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, the Advisor to Government on Cyber Security, said Ghana was one of the countries in the West African sub-region with a cyber legislation– Electronic Transaction Act,2008(Act 772)- that supports investigations and prosecution of cyber cases.

“However due to lack of training and technology to support forensic examination of digital devices and network environments, capacity to operationlise such a brilliant law is lacking,” she added.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said government was currently working on a national institutional structure to effectively manage and govern cyber security.

She said as part of the institutional framework, a national cyber security technical working group has been set up with representatives from relevant agencies including the Police.

The minister stressed the need to build the confidence in institutions with the ability to investigate and resolve cybercrime cases and complaints.

The training, which was aimed at enhancing the skills of the detectives in investigating cyber related cases, was supported by the European Union.

The participants were drawn from the Criminal Investigation Department, Bureau of National investigations, Narcotic Control Board, and the Economic and Organised Crime Office.




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