‘Multiplicity of National IDs fuels Momo fraud’

Michael Amengor

Lack of a synchronized national data systems, makes it very difficult to trace perpetrators of mobile money (Momo) fraud and other cybercrimes, hence the urgent need for the National Identification Authority (NIA) to ensure nationwide enrollment of the Ghana Card, Michael Akwasi Amengor, Brong Ahafo Regional Territory Sales Controller, has said.

He said Ghana’s current state with multiplicity of national IDs has created a vacuum for some unscrupulous persons to defraud unsuspecting Momo subscribers and others without being arrested.

“The System is so weak that some people are able temper with others IDs and use to register SIM cards. Others also provide false information when registering cards which we find it very difficult to verify. These are the people who have been swindling innocent persons on the Momo platform,” he explained.

Ghana card, he noted, could be a catalyst, helping to reduce the fraud in the system as it will be easier to trace fraudsters and enhance the public trust in the electronic financial space. This will go a long way to consolidate government’s financial inclusion agenda and broader economic growth, he added.

Mr. Amengor was addressing a public forum organized by MTN at Goaso in the Asunafo North Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region. He advised the public to be wary of suspecting individuals who thrive of people’s ignorance and vulnerability to make money.

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Touching on network expansion, he said the company is investing heavily in infrastructure improvement to boost connectivity in places with patchy services. “For instance, there’s change in transmission network from microwave to fiber to improve connectivity in the Ahafo area; this line is the Bibiani-Kukuom-Goaso-Hwediem-Bechem fiber backbone.” He however mentioned fiber cuts and battle theft at its sites as key challenges to network, saying “In 2014 alone, battle theft cost us US$5.4 million.”

He also urged the business community, especially SMEs to take advantage of MTN’s businesses tailored products such as the SIP solution to expand growth and enhance their competitive advantages in the fast advancing technological world. “It is reliable, flexible, saves cost and supports cell phones.”

The Goaso District Police Commander, DSP Richard Hornuro, observed that people who mostly fall prey to Momo fraudsters are ‘greedy’ and in the haste to make wealth.

He quizzed: “Why will people who has not entered into any promotion or lottery of a network provider give attention to faceless persons who call to offer you prizes? If you want to be rich, work harder and stop chasing monies you have not worked for.”

On her part, Mrs. Charity Darko, Coordinator, MTN Corporate Services-Northern Ghana, said MTN Foundation has so far invested about US$13.45 million in over 142 projects in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment, evenly distributed across the country. She added that the Foundation has also awarded 1,000 scholarships to beneficiary students.

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