The 4 major types of MoMo fraud you should be aware of

Mobile Money (MoMo) fraud has been with us for some time. While many people have fallen victim to the menace, there’s still a lot of ignorance about what this is. There are many types of MoMo fraud, and if you’re not careful, you may end up falling for one before realising what happened.

This article will enlighten you on the many forms that MoMo fraud can take, either as business-related scams, juicy promotions and more.

The many types of MoMo fraud

1. The fake transfer SMS (Smishing and vishing)

This is one of the most common ones that’s easy to identify for the fraud that it is. You’d first receive an SMS ‘notification’ from a regular phone number stating that you’ve been sent some money. Next, you’d get another SMS stating that your MoMo account (or wallet) has been blocked due to a wrongful transfer made to you.

You should expect a follow-up call (vishing) from a supposed MTN staff. The fake staff is on your phone to make a fake balance confirmation. Don’t even entertain them.

Genuine MoMo alerts would be under the ‘MobileMoney‘ thread in your SMS inbox.

2. The Use Cases

This one is mostly targeted at agents. A fraudster comes posing as an MTN-authorized field agent and offers to teach the MoMo agent a new way of safely reversing wrong transactions.

Once the agent naively falls for it, they continue with their process, which involves generating an ATM token. The scam succeeds when the MoMo agent enters their PIN in the pop-up message, and their account balance gets cleared.

3. The business scam types of MoMo fraud

This comes in five (5) forms.

  • Doubling of money
  • Fake recruitment exercises
  • Auctions and sales of items
  • Lotteries
  • Ponzi schemes

Except the first and last examples, all the others may not seem too obvious. People may fall for job recruitment scams because they genuinely need jobs. However, you can save yourself from being a victim by checking out the institution’s website or social media handles.

You may even post enquiries on their page or comment sections so they can respond with a confirmation or denial.

Lotteries. Don’t get excited about those too. A lot are scams. And unless you had a genuine ticket and were already participating in a known lottery, you shouldn’t mind fantastic lottery deals.

4. Extortion schemes

They come in the following forms:

  • Blackmail
  • Emotional scam
  • Fake kidnapping and ransom demands
  • Romance scam
  • Sextortion
relationship scam
(Image credit: JBKlutse)

With these types of MoMo fraud, you’re either being blackmailed with supposed nudes and sex tapes (sextortion), sending money to a lover you chat with online (romance scam), or having to pay a ransom to free someone you care about. When possible, involve the police — especially in the kidnapping and ransom scams.

Service provider response

MTN Ghana is not oblivious to what is happening. And while it may seem like the telco and service provider is unconcerned, that is not the actual state of affairs. There are loopholes that these scammers exploit in the Mobile Money space, and while there’s work going on to plug them, a lot can’t be said until they are implemented.

This came to light during a video conference with Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) members. It is a media advocacy group for SME enterprises that provides a potent platform to bring the sector’s contribution to national development and challenges to enhance growth.

We hope you find this article on 4 major types of MoMo fraud helpful. Read more on our fraud series.

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