Fraud has become rampant in different parts of the country and with the economic crisis prevailing in the country, some people have resorted to using mobile money cons as a way of earning a living at the expense of others.
Yesterday I got a call from my cousin Joseph who narrated how he was duped of Shs800,000 during a mobile money transaction at his Mobile Money shop in Jinja town.
According to Joseph, a client walked up to him asking him to send money using Airtel money to his father in the village.
“He handed me red notes (Ugx20,000) which I counted well and it summed up to Ugx800,000. In the meantime, he was calling his father who seemed not to pick up so he asked me to give him back the money and promised to come back in case he called back,” he said.
Joseph said that the client suddenly received a call and he told the person at other end of the phone that he was standing at a mobile money stall and the money was going to get to him within a few minutes.
“He then gave me back the money tied up with a rubber band and since I had just counted it, I did not bother to recount it. I wanted to serve my customer diligently,” Joseph added.
The customer suddenly became very impatient and rushed Joseph into sending the money which he did. However after the transaction, the customer left in a hurry.
After 5 minutes, Joseph decided to count the money and to his shock only the top note was real and the rest was fake money.
“I was in disbelief,” he narrated.
But Joseph is not the only one to have been tricked by these con artists.
In another incident, one of my friends received a call from an unknown number and it was a lady who was crying and begging her to send back the money that has been sent to her number by mistake. She said she was hesitant in the beginning but the lady seemed grieved which prompted her to check her mobile money balance on her MTN.
Little did she know that on the other side these fraudsters had already initiated and as soon as she had put her PIN number, she lost up to Shs350,000.
Scammers and con artists have come up with new and innovative tricks to scam and steal from innocent people on mobile money and little has been done by the Network service providers to shield their clients from these scammers.
However we can try to protect ourselves from the con artists by hanging up on calls that bring up conversation that involve your PIN number and if one calls asking you to send back money check your messages first before checking your balance.
Mobile money operators, are advised to be very vigilant and always avoid people who rush you and take your time to make a transaction.