Business News of Mon, 10 Sep 20181

Internet banking fraud cases rise 44.6%

The number of internet fraud cases reported by commercial banks operating in Ghana to the Central Bank in 2017 increased to 1,418 from 1,001 in 2016.

Grace Akrofi, advisor at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), who stated this at a financial crime sensitization forum Thursday at Ada, said the total value reported for fraud or attempted fraud amounted to approximately GH¢190.38 million.

Of these, 16 percent, representing GH¢30.08 million, was recorded as losses while 84 percent, representing GH¢160.30 million, was recovered.

She mentioned suppression of cash and deposits, card fraud, manipulation of accounts and negotiable instruments, cheque fraud, as well as forgery and alteration of documents as some of the fraud cases.

“A key concern to us is the widening gap between the date of occurrence and detection. As you all know, fraud is a criminal offence and any delay in its detection could have a significant impact on the performance of the industry as a whole.

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“In the same vein, any delay in the investigation of the cases and subsequent prosecution of culprits may also have far-reaching consequences on the stability of the banking sector.”

Ms Akrofi further lamented the increasing involvement of bank staff in the reported fraud cases.

According to her, while most deposit-taking institutions were increasing their staff intake, especially at the entry level, most of them do not have the capacity to adequately vet the new employees.

She, therefore, appealed for the adoption of the most secure way to vet both contract and permanent staff, who are employed into the banking sector.

A research done in November 2016 by the African Union (AU) Commission, in partnership with Symantec, found out that Ghana was among the top most attacked countries in Africa.

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The study also disclosed that in 2016, there were more than 400,000 malware incidents, 44 million spam incidents and 280,000 bots incidents in Ghanaian institutions.

Narrating news of cyber incidents in Bangladesh and Malaysia recently, which took the entire global banking system by storm, she said “the Bank of Ghana continues to receive data on the several attempted cyber incidents be it unauthorized access to bank servers, card cloning, phishing, vishing or ransomware attacks.

In effect, the fraudsters are getting more sophisticated.”

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