Ugandans warned against mobile money fraud by conmen

The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has warned the public against the increasing cases of fraud. 

UCC through the Acting head of communication and international relations, Rebecca Mukite, says that there is an increasing trend of conmen who trick people with mobile money and Sim Card upgrades using National IDs.

Without revealing the number of people who have fallen victim to fraudsters, Mukite says the crime has been systematic ever since Uganda just like the rest of the world went on lockdown in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid19.

Mukite explains that because people were staying at home with less activity and others opted from working from their residences, resulted in an increase in dependency and usage of Information Communication Technologies and the Internet something fraudsters have extremely exploited to their advantage.

Some of the fraudulent tricks UCC says have been skyrocketing include fraud in form of transactions, fraud in the form of misinformation or fake news, Cyberbullying, and email fraud. With transaction fraud, UCC says the conmen call people claiming they are their staff seeking to upgrade or verify users’ Sim Cards.

UCC adds that some other fraudsters call claiming to be agents of telecom companies like Airtel and MTN seeking to verify their mobile money pin codes because they have noticed unauthorized access.

There have been questions raised by members of the public who have often received these anonymous calls from fraudsters claiming that people have won promotional gifts or officials from telecom companies verifying Sim Card ownership.

Abdul Tumwesigye who a few days was called that he needs to reset his mobile money pin code wonders why telecom companies cannot reign on the fraudsters yet our Sim Cards were registered with National ID details.

“When they call you pretending to be staff from MTN or Airtel, they ask you to give the last figures of your mobile money pin code. 

They pretend not to have heard and then change asking you to give the first figures of your mobile money pin code. If all our Sim Cards are registered, why can’t these telecom companies trace these people with the police?” Tumwesigye asks.

Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) report of 2020 revealed that Sh5 Billion was fraudulently sent to 877 Airtel Sim Cards while 755 MTN Sim Cards fraudulently received Sh5.5 Billion  via mobile money. The money sent to all the Airtel and MTN Sim Cards was swiftly withdrawn.

UCC also warned Ugandans about tricks of free data and prizes.

 Mukite says they have recorded 17 fraud cases of which 11 have already been sent to courts of law.

 To avoid being cheated, UCC has urged Ugandans to avoid sharing or clicking on suspicious links sent on WhatsApp.

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