EOCO grabs 4 over GHc200,000SIMswap fraud

Four persons have been arrested for allegedly engaging in GH₵200,000 Subscriber Identity Module(SIM) swap fraud, in Accra and Central Regions, by Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

SIM swap fraud occurs when fraudsters obtain a new SIM card from a person’s mobile service provider using the person’s registered phone number.

Fraudsters obtained One Time Passwords (OTPs) and other alerts required to conduct financial transactions through the person’s bank account with the help of this new SIM.

The suspects (names withheld for security reasons), who are in custody of EOCO, assisting in investigations, were reported to have conspired and illegally accessed accounts of customers from which they stole various money

The operation was carried out by EOCO, in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Banks.

This was after the Executive Director of EOCO, COP MaameYaaTiwaaAddo-Danquah, met with Mr John AwuahChief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Banks, to fight SIM fraud that is resulting in revenue leakage.

A source at the EOCO that disclosed these to the Ghanaian Times, in Accra, yesterday, said the suspects who withdrew about GH₵200,000 through SIM swap fraud, were apprehended  by security agencies in collaboration with banks.

Mr Awuah said his outfit would continue to enhance cooperation with security agencies, especially EOCO, to rid the banking sector of fraudsters.

The Ghanaian Times gathered that in the 2020, the banking sector fraud report released by the Bank of Ghana, indicates that banks witnessed a marginal increase in reported fraud incidents with a minimal decrease in losses.

The reduction in losses was mainly due to a reduction in the rate of success for most fraud types. A total case count of 2,670 was recorded in 2020, as compared to 2,311cases in 2019.

The reported value of fraud for 2020 was GH¢1.0 billion, as compared to GH¢115.51million recorded in 2019. The notable increase in the value reported was as a result of high values recorded in attempted correspondent banking fraud (forgery of SWIFT advice).

Even though the banking sector did not suffer any losses from any of the correspondent banking fraud attempts, it posed a reputational risk to some banks, whose staff were found culpable in two of the three reported incidents. Losses incurred as a result of fraud for 2020 stands at GH¢25.40 million, as compared to an estimated loss of GH¢33.44 million in 2019, representing a 24.0% decrease.

ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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