Fraud Hits Mobile Money Transfer In Tanzania
Local and international criminals have invaded Tanzania's top mobile money transfer platforms.
The government authorities in this East African country have urged its citizens to beware of these fraudsters who have invaded Halopesa, Easy Pesa, M-Pesa, Tigo, and Airtel mobile money transfer services.
The recent data shows that Tanzanians transferred a total of Tsh13.07 trillion, equivalent to $5.4 billion, in November and December last year using various mobile money transfer platforms.
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and the Police have released their statements saying they are investigating a number of reported fraud cases involving mobile money transfer platforms.
TCRA and the Police said that there is a wide variety of fraud activities taking place in Tanzania but the rampant ones involve a group of fraudsters who make calls to unsuspecting mobile users telling them that they have won non-existent prizes.
"Some unsuspecting individuals are asked to reveal their mobile money transfer service pin numbers and immediately their money is withdrawn after revealing this sensitive information," Mr Mwakyanjala said.
Mr Mwakyanjala added that in some fraud cases involving mobile money transfer services, individuals received messages in their phones purportedly from their mobile money transfer service company informing them that they mistakenly received a certain amount of money in their mobile phone accounts and so they must consider refunding that money to the alleged sender.
"If you receive a phone call from any person even those you know instructing you to resend money back to the sender, you should call that person first using another phone number to confirm whether that information is true," the regulator released this statement last week.
A report released by the Bank of Tanzania in 2015 ranked Tanzania the number one country in East African with registered users of mobile payment services. The report said that the Tanzanian users grew by 30% between 2013 and 2014.
The ratio of adults in Tanzania using mobile phones to transfer and receive money had reached 84%, surpassing Kenya, whose users then stood at 68%.
In other news about money transfer services
Financial experts warn sellers to use Venmo at their own risk. Venmo, a money transfer app which allows people to send or receive payment by linking to a bank account or credit card, has become very popular these days. On Friday, they advised users to make sure they know who they are dealing with before using this app.
Scott MacFarlane, in a report that was published on February 8, says that a number of users of this app confirmed to News4 I-Team that they got ripped off when selling their items online to strangers.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently publishing a warning on its site about scammers using Venmo.
"These apps are breeding grounds for scammers all over. They find something that is very popular among users and use it to scam its unsuspecting users,” said Kelsey Owen of the BBB.
Kelsey also told the News4 I-Team that those who want to use this money transfer app should treat as a check.
Venmo spokesman, Mr John Criscoe, told the I-Team that they have not put in place buyer or seller protection for users using this app. John said the app is designed for use by friends and people who trust each other.