Despite the easy access to finances and a new gateway of trading, mobile money seems to have paved an easy way of swindling, causing more fraud than benefit for Ugandan consumers.
The most economic fraud cases are now traced to mobile money, Susan Kalukusu, Acting Economic Crimes Commissioner at Criminal Investigations & Intelligence (CIID) headquarters, has revealed.
Kalukusu spoke at the Uganda Mobile Money Agents Association (UMMAA) workshop, discussing a recent case where USh100 million (US$ 40,000) was stolen from a mobile money service provider.
One of the three girls involved in the case was tracked down. With the investigation still unsolved, the employers were encouraged to ignore allegations until definite evidence. Upon return, the investigation team was “shocked” to find out that the girl had been fired.
The case could not be solved because of the anonymous service provider’s refusal to supply records of mobile money transactions.
“It makes no sense for one to report a case at police and at the same time try to protect the suspects,” said Kalukusu.
It was discovered that mobile money agents reluctant to participate in the investigation also had ongoing fraudulent deals.
The solution for Godfrey Yiga Masajja, Deputy Director of Commercial Banking at the Bank of Uganda, lies in regulating against the cashing in and out for mobile money agents on behalf of customers.
Fraud does not only take place during interactive transfers, but has also expanded towards fake hard cash deals circulating in the mobile money sector.
The Central Bank is currently in the process of establishing such regulations, considering stricter control over financial institutions nationwide, as reported by Technology Banker. This will especially aim to stop the circulation of false banknotes, according to Moses Ihoza, UMMA Chairman.
The Central bank and UMMA have partnered to fight fraud in both telecom companies and among agents.