The cybercrime risk in Africa's mobile money ecosystem
Mobile Security

The cybercrime risk in Africa's mobile money ecosystem

If mobile phone numbers in Africa are equal to credit card numbers in North America, then mobile money users could be more exposed to cyber and digital crimes than ever thought before. The introduction of transactions between mobile money and bank accounts has seen Kenyans offered seamless service but also opened up a doorway for cyber criminals to swindle millions from unsuspecting customers.

Stanley Wanjiku’s story is one of the ever increasing incidences of theft through the mobile banking services in Kenya. In an elaborate scheme, fraudsters got his confidential information and wiped his accounts clean using a method called SIM swap. This scheme used by cyber thieves is aimed at changing ownership of the mobile SIM card which is used in registering for mobile banking services. Wanjiku lost a total of Kshs 1.9 million (US$ 19,000) from his mobile money and bank account within 48 hours.

One way is that fraudsters pretend to be from the telecom company, asks the owner to confirm their private details. Once this is achieved, the thieves go ahead to initiate withdrawal transactions. The thieves in this case were apprehended by the police.

Wanjiku’s story is not isolated as more Kenyans go online to complain about their cash being wiped out of their mobile money and bank accounts.

Kenya’s mobile money ecosystem generates over US$ 18 billion worth of transactions according to the latest Communications Authority of Kenya. According to a GSMA report, The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2018, Africa has over 135 mobile money services in over 39 countries.

You’re viewing IDG Connect Insider content. Please enter your email to continue.


PREVIOUS ARTICLE

«Virtual meeting solutions buyers' guide: ConnectWise Control vs TeamViewer

NEXT ARTICLE

A rare glimpse inside the Chinese cybercrime underground»
Vincent Matinde

Vincent Matinde is an international IT Journalist highlighting African innovations in the technology scene.

Recommended for You

alex-cruickshank

Platform or publisher?

Tech Cynic – IT without the rose-tinted spectacles

martin-veitch-thumbnail

Mark Shuttleworth’s next mission: making private clouds affordable

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

dan2

GDPR-based extortion could be the next cybercrime trend

Dan Swinhoe casts a critical eye on the future

Our Case Studies

IDG Connect delivers full creative solutions to meet all your demand generatlon needs. These cover the full scope of options, from customized content and lead delivery through to fully integrated campaigns.

images

Our Marketing Research

Our in-house analyst and editorial team create a range of insights for the global marketing community. These look at IT buying preferences, the latest soclal media trends and other zeitgeist topics.

images

Poll

Should the government regulate Artificial Intelligence?