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Opinions of Thursday, 7 November 2019

Columnist: Patrick Fares

A new twist on mobile money fraud

The original con entails getting a phone call from the fraudster, saying money has been accidentally transferred into your account and if you could send it back to the caller’s phone account.

A dummy notification of a deposit is sent which is independent of the recipient’s actual account. The good Samaritan would therefore transfer said amount, not realizing that nothing fell in their account in the first place.

This wasn’t very effective as many people caught on and just ignored said attempt.

Yesterday I received a slight twist to this con. A call came in claiming money had been accidentally put in my account. Followed by a false notification of money having been transferred into my account.

Followed by yet another text claiming my account had been blocked, and then followed by an apologetic call from the original caller to say he was sorry but he had asked MTN to block my account because he thought I wouldn’t refund money.

Then a different number called to claim he worked for the phone company and would tell me my balance to prove his legitimacy and that he will then call me to have me reset my current password.

I didn’t fall for it but I am assuming he would asked for my current PIN in the process, and then used that to clean out my account.

As you can see, the new twist is more sophisticated and I could have easily fallen for it.

Please spread the word.