While many have become familiar with the several tricks by mobile money fraudsters to scam people of huge sums of money, others are yet to know the modus operandi of these criminals.
These fraudsters call unsuspecting victims under the pretence that they are staff of the one of the telecommunications companies that render the Mobile Money services.
Lately, they seem to have developed another way of extorting money by using the names of prominent people to deceive their targets. Some unfortunately do not read between the lines and end up losing thousands of cedis.
Such is the story of a lady who only gave her name as Benedicta while narrating her story to GhanaWeb.
According to her, she received an unknown call one Friday from a man who claimed to work with MTN Ghana. He told her she was a beneficiary of Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong’s benevolence to the vulnerable in society.
“I was home when I received a strange call from someone who said he was calling from the MTN office and that I was a beneficiary of Kennedy Agyapong’s donations to support the less privileged. I was happy when he said I was the lucky winner.”
She continued, “During the conversation he gave me another number to call stating that the person was one of the managers at MTN.”
Benedicta said when she called the number, the person on the other end of the line asked her to go to a Momo vendor in her area and ask to make a deposit of GH¢1500 because if she told the vendor about the money she had won they will dupe her.
“He told me that if I told them I received the call from MTN, I will be duped because mobile money vendors are thieves. I was asked to say I was making a deposit of GH¢1500. I was alarmed by that, but he assured me that after speaking to the mobile money merchant, they will give me my GH¢500 so I complied,” the narration continued.
The fraudster had given her a number the deposit should be made to and it was registered in the name of one Anita Donkoh.
Benedicta says the man on the line said after the deposit had been made he will give the merchant a code with which the money she had been promised will be retrieved for her.
One would be wondering if she did not suspect any foul play as this may not be a channel a credited institution will give money out, but Benedicta claim the manner in which the person spoke did not warrant suspicion
“He (the fraudster) sounded responsible,” She said.
When she got to the vendor, she said she did all she was told to do. In the process and only realised she had become a victim of a scam after giving phone to the merchant to speak to the man for the code.
The fraudster asked the momo merchant for the ID number he uses for his business before he (the fraudster) could give him the code, but the merchant realised it was a scam and refused to reveal his number.
Though he had already sent the money, the merchant saved himself from losing more but Benedicta was not so fortunate as she has been left with a debt of GH¢1,500 to pay because the merchant is demanding it from her.
“So the mobile money guy rained insults on him and told him he was wants to defraud him of his money. After cutting the call, he told me was duped and that it’s a 419-game used on me. But he told me he was taking his money.”
Following her encounter, Benedicta has asked Ghanaians to be wary of such people as anyone can fall victim. According to her, she’s still paying the debt and has received threats of being reported to the police if she fails to pay up.
Listen to the audio below