ISSUE 158: AFRICAN INTERNET FRAUD BEYOND 419s
Great article as usual - you said all that has to be said ... Nigerian connection, we have our Nima boys too. Again they have their US/Europe connection too. Why blame us? Let them pick up those at the other end (see Internet News above). Quite likely that the many will suffer for the few.
So what ... If they tackle their end on this end with assistance; so much of it coming in, internet security also deserves something practical; people can be arrested and tried quickly (with some assistance?!) and perhaps our version of lock them up and throw away the key.
I read the interesting article on cyber fraud in Ghana. As to how prepared the Ghana Police are to deal with the problem, one is not too certain. It is believed there are already plain clothed policemen at (one café), but do step in there at any time of the day you can easily spot these fraudsters. At least I can :) On their part, no form of discretion is employed (not to say I condone this kind of activity) and they are basically telling you "here we are and we are doing so because we can" I really think a lot can be done not only to stop the perpetrators but also round up the other links that form the chain. It will certainly take more than just busting these gangs in cyber cafes. Where do the details coming from? How do delivery service companies tackle the problem on their end? I have a personal contact with the director of national security and he will certainly be of help if called upon. You may ask, why the concern? Well, I am currently working really hard towards the set up of an Internet consultancy, advising businesses on e-commerce solutions, the web as well as other interesting possibilities the Internet and its related technologies offer. It would be in my own and many others interest to see a curb to this ever-increasing problem. I dont want this mail to be forwarded without my permission since if I will play a role in fighting this, I will certainly do it incognito :)
(Name and address witheld)
FastrackInternet Cafes, the trade name for Tin-ifa internet cafes around Ghana experience this problem and we narrowed it down to our Ivorian clients who spend a lot of their time on the tip toe road and just come next door to browse and do these fraudulent things. We confronted them and told them not to use our cafe for such acts since we do not want to be part of their scams.
We actually had a call from our office in the USA that America Airlines security officers had called to inquire about tickets that were being purchased from our IPs with stolen credit cards and this really alarmed us and we took measures from then but blocking a whole store.yahoo.com is a real blow to e-commerce and we have to research quickly on how to utilize other means including powerful firewalls to address this issue. This is one of my main reasons for calling for the creation of the Cybercafe Association since we all could be victims of these scammers which may lead us into serious trouble with security personnel.
Nanayaa Owusu-Prempeh (www.tin-ifa.com)
Another reader e-mailed us with a copy of a mail purporting to come from PayPal asking him to re-confirm his credit card number by sending it to them. He does not have a PayPal account and goes without saying that you should not send your credit card details to people you do not know.