Dr Herbert Gustav Yankson, Head of the Ghana Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Cybercrime Unit, has disclosed that as at August this year, Ghana had lost $90,168 to cybercrime.
This compares to a loss of $22,692 in 2016 and $21,357 in 2017.
Dr Yankson was speaking during a capacity building workshop on Mobile Money (MoMo) Fraud and Prosecution for selected judges from across Ghana and organised by the MTN, Judicial Training Institute and E-crime Bureau, a Cyber Security and Forensic Firm.
He gave some of the crimes against MoMo fraud, phishing and intrusion.
The suspects mainly used unauthorised SIM swap, use of stolen pin code and use of malware to exploit the system.Dr Yankson said the biggest of the fraud was the SIM swap and came up with tricks such as “the sick child story, police arrest, call credit, spirituality, identity theft, online false investments, job scams, among others”.
He said some people fell to the tricks based on sharing of pin code with family members, greed, gullibility, lack of knowledge of MoMo functionality, insider threats at users’ homes and at the telecommunications (telcos), ignorance and others.
The Head of the Cybercrime Unit said that in 2016, 6.2 percent of such cases were investigated and sent to court whilst the case was 3.4 percent in 2017.He attributed the inability of the Unit to do so to under staffing, obsolete equipment to track such activities, incorrect large portions of SIM cards data, non-collaboration of card producers with police, inability of court to assist police with data unless on a court order and some of the investigators lacking understanding of the system.
Dr Yankson said to reduce this, the National Identification System should have access to the telcos, a special court should be allotted to deal with cybercrime, prosecution of agents selling already registered SIMs and others.
Philip Danquah Debrah, Business Operations Manager, E-crime Bureau said engaging people at the centre of the issues, was the reason for the series of workshops including those for the media, police and the judges.
It is to help them understand new trends of mobile money fraud and take discussions to different levels and also share knowledge with colleagues, he explained.He said the process would also sensitise those in the hinterlands and rural areas to know that they were secured to get redress when they fell prey to cybercrimes.
The Manager said E-crime was established seven years ago and had trained police to investigate cybercrimes as it was a new field to them and they were equipped with tools and techniques in digital forensic laboratory skills.It also engaged Bank of Ghana to ensure issues of cybercrime were curtailed as the banking sector had over 60 percent out of the issues recorded within the banking environment to be cyber fraud.
He said, E-crime would continue to engage the Financial Intelligence Centre on E-payment fraud, money laundering, financial fraud as well as collaborating with MTN to empower all stakeholders.