There is this popular advice, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
This advice has been repeated almost as often as mothers tell their children to stop crying.
But not many pay attention, and that is why countless people fall victim to scammers, fraudsters, hackers, swindlers and criminals who rip them off their life savings.
Through various dubious means, these criminals entice their victims with mouth watering proposals and promises that eventually turn out not to be true and unfortunately, most often, before the victims know it, they have been swindled.
Only this week, two stories that was reported by the Ghanaian Times, highlighted the alarming increase in mobile money fraud that is targeting financial institutions in the country.
The other, is the arrest of six people who allegedly hacked into a bank and attempted to transfer GH¢46.129.473.00 into various accounts of other banks.
These two incidences are what were reported by the media and that is what we know and both the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Police have confirmed.
But, it is public knowledge that the activities of fraudsters and swindlers have been on the ascendancy in recent times.
Indeed, the stories on these criminal activities play out anytime these scammers succeed in defrauding members of the public and yet many continue to fall victim to them.
According to the BoG,monthly fraud incident reports submitted by financial institutions over the last quarter, has shown a persistent increase in the number of institutions, particularly falling victims to mobile money fraud in the country.
It said, swindlers have targeted banks, using dubious ways, including pretending to be staff of telecommunication companies to execute their fraudulent agenda.
On their part, the police said, within the last four months, the Cyber Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department has recorded criminal activities targeted at the network of banks and their ATM machines.
For us, the increase in all these criminal activities is the reason why we must all pay attention to the alarm being raised by the BoG on the persistent increase in the number of institutions falling victims to mobile money fraud in the country and the need to be vigilant.
No doubt, the emerging facts about these criminal activities illustrate how little thecentral bank as well as the police have done to nip in the bud the fraudulent activities of the criminals.
Although, we commend the two institutions for alerting the public to such scams before it was too late, we believe that public education on activities of such criminals must increase and go beyond the urban areas of the country.
In today’s information age, no one can run away from the fact that, we are in the technological era and the internet has become a powerful tool for business transaction but it cannot be denied also that, itis being abused by the criminals to commit crimes.
However, giving the digital divide, the bank and the police can adopt several traditional methods in educating the public so as to prevent innocent Ghanaians from falling prey to the criminals.