Unless you have not been paying attention, there is a new form of thievery in town with people using mobile money platforms, especially MTN Mobile Money to try to scam money from unsuspecting victims.

But if you haven’t been up to date, here is a very quick summary of how these new thieves work via mobile money.

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How Mobile Money Scam Works

You would receive a call from someone who would claim they had just mistakenly transferred a certain amount of money to your mobile wallet. Obviously, they would ask you to transfer the money back to them and try to work on general human emotions to get you to do this.

A Truecaller alert warning others of a fake mobile money number

A Truecaller alert warning others of a fake mobile money number

And if you didn’t get a text message for the supposed transaction earlier, you would then hear your phone buzzing with an SMS.

But pay attention to the “Message From” section on your phone, it would most probably show some unknown number, not the usual “MTN” or “MTN Mobile Money“.

In all honesty, I never saw how one could fall prey to such a mode of scamming as there are several red flags. But again, maybe that is because I do not use ANY mobile money platform; I mean who needs Mobile Money when I can run similar transactions in expresspay of Slydepay.

How Some Mobile Money Vendor Might Be Scammers

But I saw a friend go through this and I quickly changed my mind – it could happen to anyone.

Mind you, my friend did not fall for the scam, but I learnt something valuable that day. I had earlier sent an intern to send my friend a certain amount of money via MTN Mobile Money the day before the scammer tried running his act on us. (For the sake of not repeating “my friend” close to 20 times, let’s refer to him as Kwame B).

So according to Kwame B, he received a call from a private number the day after I had sent him the money.

As usual, the call followed the format of regular scams – the caller pleaded that he had mistakenly sent some amount of money to Kwame’s account and asked that Kwame, “through the mercy of God“, send the money back.

Of course, Kwame knows how to catch a scam, but he played along saying that he had not received the message for the transaction and that he would send the money back once he got the alert.

Call ends.

In less than a minute, Kwame B gets the message – only that it is not from the official MTN Mobile Money account, but some +23355********** number.

Fake mobile money alert

Fake mobile money alert

And also conspicuously odd about the message was the petty errors and omissions in text (if you’re gonna try to scam someone, please try to put in some work).

The scammer called back and asked if Kwame B had gotten the message now and when he replied in the affirmative, the scammer then asked that the money be sent back to him instantly so he could sent it to the original destination.

Again, we noted that the vendor name in the text message was same as the vendor who my intern had used to send the money to Kwame a day before the incident. Also, the amount quoted, as well as the transaction ID, were same as that of the earlier transaction made.

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This made me come to the conclusion that some of the Mobile Money vendors might be in arms with scammers, (or are the scammers themselves).

How else could such definite information have been leaked out to a random scammer.

Have you been scammed before? Tell us more on Twitter @Ferviddy or on Facebook.