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Police launches crack down on Mobile Money fraudsters

A client transacts with mobile money at an agent kiosk. Police in Tororo have mounted a search for mobile money fraudsters in a renewed fight against fraud. (FILE PHOTO

TORORO-  Police in Tororo District have launched an operation to crack down on the fraudsters, who have invaded mobile money business in the district.

The District Police Commander (DPC), Mr Rogers Chebene, said on Saturday, May 4 while addressing journalists in his office that cases related to fraud through mobile money are on the rise.

“We have launched an operation to crackdown on the culprits that are making the mobile money business unsafe because so far, we have received overwhelming cases of fraud through mobile money from the agents and residents,” he said.

Mr Chebene said there are mobile money agents, who have already fallen prey to the criminals, who are extorting money from agents and locals using high -tech illegal means.

“They are using high -tech skills to extort money but in order to defeat this vice, it requires a concerted effort among members of the public, mobile money operators and the police,” he said.

Mr Chebene explained reported fraud came in many forms but the rampant one involves the duping of agents and residents with fake messages informing them that they mistakenly received money in their mobile accounts and so must immediately refund the money to the sender.

“The residents and mobile money agents should be vigilant and report any such cases to concerned authorities in their areas of jurisdiction,” he said.

He also encouraged mobile money operators to ensure that they do thorough verification of messages by cross-checking with the mobile money account before authorising any deposit and withdrawing of cash from their accounts.

Mr Vincent Okumu, one of the mobile agent said fraudsters are likely to have been former employees of telecommunication companies.

“They know how the systems operate and this makes us believe that the racket is composed of people who could have worked or are working with the companies,’’ he said.

The Airtel Uganda Territory business manager in charge of Bukedi region, Mr Nicholas Ssengendo, said some of the mobile money agents have failed to the transaction procedures, making their business vulnerable to fraudsters.

“Some of the mobile money operators have failed to abide by the mobile money transaction procedures,” he said, adding that telecommunication companies hold quarterly meetings to remind mobile money operators on the transaction procedures to beat fraudsters.

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