Ghana’s Telcos Collectively Block 28,000 SIMs in Common Bid to Stop Mobile Money Fraud

The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has announced that the country’s telcos have collectively blacklisted 28,000 SIMs and 17,000 identities as part of their joint program to reduce mobile money fraud. The news was given at a recent consumer awareness event organized by the Chamber in collaboration with the Bank of Ghana. The event was held at Kejetia Market in the city of Kumasi, the largest market in West Africa. Consumers were advised about how to protect themselves and the work being done to reduce fraud by representatives of all the country’s leading telcos.

Ghanaians can report suspected frauds and scams by calling or texting 419 free of charge. A total of 35,000 fraud incidents have been reported since Ghana’s phone companies announced the creation of a common blacklist in August 2021.

Ken Ashigbey, CEO of the Chamber, warned customers to protect their personal details, per a report by MyJoyOnline.

Mobile money services in Ghana are secured. But the challenge has always been our cyber hygiene. Our call is that you do not disclose your passwords or pins to anyone.

Ashigbey also commented on the ways that fraudsters seek to work around the automated filters implemented by telcos.

You will observe that there are mistakes even in the messages they send. It isn’t that they do not know how to spell. They deliberately do it to beat artificial intelligence. But they always become unsuccessful and get blocked.

Nobody can fault the effort that Ghanaian telcos are putting into warning customers about fraud. One humorous video campaign (pictured above) features two football fans who receive a message offering them free tickets to the final of the European Champions League, courtesy of famous Senegalese professional footballer Sadio Mané. The more skeptical of the two friends realizes it is a fraud when they call to ask when their tickets will be delivered, but are told they must pay a fee by mobile money. He convinces his friend that they are being lied to when they ask the nationality of Sadio Mané and the scammer refuses to answer. You can watch the video below.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.