A total of 1,001 fraud cases were reported to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) from universal banks, non–bank financial institutions (NBFIs) and rural and community banks (RCBs) in 2016.
The monetary value involved in the cases (both successful and attempted) was about GH¢244.32 million
According to the Payment Systems Oversight Report from the BoG, the cases included the suppression of customer accounts by staff of financial institutions, card fraud, forgery and alteration of documents, manipulation of accounts and negotiable instruments.
Others were the fraudulent collection of international remittances by persons not named as recipients, transactions involving cloned and stolen cheques and fraudulent transfers through hacked email accounts.
At a seminar on Cyber Security for the clients of NDK Financial Services Limited in Accra on Thursday, the principal consultant of the e-Crime Bureau, a private cyber security company, Mr Alex Oppong, said some of the crimes were committed with the support of insiders.
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Consequently, he advised corporate institutions to conduct thorough background checks on potential employees to prevent the recruitment of staff with questionable backgrounds.
The seminar, organised by NDK Financial Services, a non-bank financial institution, was on the theme: “The emergence of cyber crime activities and its effects on businesses”.
Mr Oppong also advocated awareness creation and training of staff of companies on cyber security to prevent those activities from taking place.
The seminar provided the clients with the opportunity to learn best practices in protecting their businesses and personal online accounts from cyber attacks.
The participants were taken through emerging trends in cyber attacks, which included social media threats, Website defacement, Ransomware attacks, E-payment threats and fake news.
With real-time demonstrations, the clients were exposed to some practices that made most people vulnerable within the cyber space.
They included hurriedly accepting terms of downloads for online applications and logging of passwords and usernames on request from unknown links.
A cyber security analyst, Mr Joseph Quaye, for his part, advised people to always have active anti-virus application on their phones, as mobile phones were equally vulnerable to malware attacks like other computers.
He stated that emails and site links could be used as bait to trap victims into giving out their personal information.
“Once you grant him the power to your phone, he becomes a co-owner. He has access to all your credentials and you can imagine what he can do with it,” he pointed out.
Mr Quaye advised the clients to be careful when downloading apps from the Internet.
He requested that they look out for more information, such as the number of times an app had been downloaded, the ratings of the app, which should exceed 4.5, and reviews or comments about it.
That, he said, would inform their decision on how safe an application was before downloading it.
“When you go to download an app and you realise it has 20 downloads, please run away — it is not safe,” he said.