4 Grabbed In GH¢200k SIM Fraud

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THE ECONOMIC and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) has arrested four persons engaged in SIM swap fraud.

The suspects, according to a representative of GAB, Ransford Nana Addo Jnr, were picked up at various locations in the country for colluding and illegally accessing the accounts of people, and stealing money from them.

Sources said the suspects succeeded in stealing a total of GH¢200,000 from some banks before their arrest.

Checks from EOCO have revealed that the suspects are in police custody assisting the security agency in their investigations.××

Their arrest comes months after the Executive Director of EOCO, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, met with John Awuah, CEO of GAB, to assist her outfit in the fight against internet fraud in the sector, which is causing revenue leakages.

Commenting on the operation, Mr. Awuah praised the collaborative efforts of EOCO, which resulted in the arrest of the fraudsters.

He cautioned miscreants to be warned as banks were sharing intelligence with all security agencies, especially EOCO, to rid the banking sector of fraudsters.

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. They can get 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.

In the year 2020, in the banking sector fraud report, released by the Bank of Ghana, there was a marginal increase in banks’ 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 cases were recorded in the year 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.

The source said suspects will be sent to court later this week.

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