Police arrest 3 SHS graduates for duping trader, others

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey

Three young men are being held by the police for allegedly swindling a trader using a fake mobile money payment system.

The suspects, Prince Alhassan, Daniel Amoako Ampofo alias Tizzle and Richard Kesse alias Baron, all of them Senior High School graduates, are said to defraud online traders by ordering for goods online and opting for electronic payment via mobile money.

Upon delivery of the product, they generate and send a message purported to have been generated from the mobile money system of a network operator to the traders’ mobile number.

The message is ostensibly to confirm the expected payment for the product.

Victims upon receiving the alert fail to check their mobile money account balance, but proceed to hand over the product to the suspects only to find out later that they had been duped.

The Director of the Cyber Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Ghana Police Service, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr. Herbert Gustav Yankson told Graphic Online that the three young men were arrested after one of their victims who was a mobile phone dealer reported his ordeal to the police.

He said one of the suspects, Ampofo, contacted the trader who had displayed an iPhone and an Apple Watch Series 6 on an online trading platform.

Ampofo proposed that they met at Lapaz-Papaye for payment of the items. When the trader arrived at the venue, he met Alhassan, Ampofo and Kesse in a wine unregistered Hyundai Elantra vehicle.

They three young men then came out of the vehicle and the trader handed over the iPhone and iWatch to Ampofo for inspection.

Ampofo then asked Alhassan to make payment for GH¢6,700 to the trader using mobile money transfer.

Alhassan sent a message indicating an amount of GH¢6,700 had been sent to the trader’s mobile money account, however when the trader checked his balance, he found that no money had been transferred into his account.

Alhassan then showed the trader a message indicating that the amount of GH¢6,700 had been transferred from his account to trader's.
In the course of the discussion, the three young men sat in the parked vehicle and drove off with the items.

Police investigation led to the arrest of the three at Lapaz and it was found out that their modus operandi was to copy previous messages from mobile money transfers sent to them.

They edit such messages then send it back to themselves and show same to victims pretending that they had sent monies from their mobile money account to victims’ account.

Police Investigation showed that they had used the same method to successfully defraud others of more than GH¢20,000 in separate transactions.

ACP Yankson said it was also found out that they rented the vehicles from auto companies for their fraudulent acts, making it difficult for their victims to trace them.