The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Banks, has arrested four persons engaged in a GH¢200k SIM swap fraud.
The suspects are said to have been picked up at various locations across the country for illegally accessing the accounts of some Ghanaians from which they stole various amounts.
A representative of the Association of Banks, Ransford Nana Addo Jnr., said that the suspects managed to withdraw about GH¢200,000, using their modus operandi before their cover was blown and apprehended.
SIM swap fraud occurs when fraudsters obtain a new SIM card from a person’s mobile service provider using the person’s registered phone number.
They can then get the person’s One Time Passwords (OTPs) and other alerts required to conduct financial transactions through the person’s bank account with the help of this new SIM.
In 2020, in the banking sector fraud report released by the Bank of Ghana, banks witnessed a marginal increase in reported fraud incidents with a minimal decrease in losses.
The reduction in losses was mainly due to a reduction in success rate for most fraud types.
A total of 2,670 cases were recorded in the year 2020, as compared to 2,311 cases in 2019.
The reported value of fraud for 2020 was GH¢1.0 billion, compared to GH¢115.51 million recorded in 2019.
The notable increase in the value reported resulted from high values recorded in attempted correspondent banking fraud.
Even though the banking sector did not suffer any losses from correspondent banking fraud attempts, it posed a reputational risk to some banks whose staff were found guilty in two of the three reported incidents.
Losses incurred due to fraud for 2020 stand at GH¢25.40 million, as compared to an estimated loss of GH¢33.44 million in 2019, representing a 24.0% decrease.
The latest arrest comes months after the Executive Director of EOCO, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, met with the Chief Executive of the Ghana Association of Banks, John Awuah, to collaborate with them in fighting fraud in the sector.
Commenting on the successful operation, the CEO of the Ghana Association of Banks, Mr John Awuah, praised the collaborative efforts with EOCO resulting in the arrest of the fraudsters.
He cautioned miscreants to be warned as banks were sharing intelligence and have enhanced cooperation with all security agencies, especially EOCO, to rid the banking sector of fraudsters.
Meanwhile, the suspects are expected in court later this week, on various charges.