TELCOS SHOULD BE FINED FOR ALLOWING FRAUDSTERS TO DEFRAUD CONSUMERS

The Consumer Advocacy Centre (CAC) has called on government to introduce a law that will compel Telecommunication companies to pay a fine for allowing fraudsters to use their network to defraud consumers.

The penalty, according to the CAC, could be used to support the security agencies in their efforts at cracking down on scammers in Mobile Money transactions.

The proposal was among a number of measures, the CAC believes, if implemented by stakeholders would help Ghana enjoy effective and efficient mobile money transactions.

CAC Spokesperson, Benjamin Essuman, made the call in a presentation that set the tone for a  Roundtable Discussion on ‘Attacking the Rise in Mobile Money Fraud,’ an event to mark the World Consumer Rights Day 2019 on Friday, March 15, at Laweh Open University College, Accra. The global theme for the celebration was ‘Better Digital World’.

CAC is the local chapter of Consumer International (CI), the world’s consumer rights governing body.

The Roundtable Discussion featured Prof. Goski Alabi, President of CAC; Dr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, Director Corporate Communications, Ghana Standards Authority; Abed Bandim, Consumer and Corporate Affairs Manager, National Communications Authority; Dr Herbert Gustav Yankson, Chief Superintendent and Head of the Cyber Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service; Gerald Kpang Kpari, Economic and Organised Crime Office; and Philip Danquah Debrah, Business Development Manager of E-Crime Bureau, Ghana.

The CAC also called on government to issue a white paper on the Ghana’s Consumer Protection policy crafted way back in 2007 and submit it to Parliament for enactment into law. The expected Act provides for the setting up of a Consumer Protection Commission which will provide adequate protection for consumers.

It urged the National Communication Authority (NCA) to ensure that SIM cards registration should be done in accordance with L.I 2006 and reminded it of the need re-register SIM cards as directed by Ministry of Communications in 2014 and 2017.

Similarly, the CAC urged the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to take keen interest in the Mobile Banking sector and collaborate with the Telcos and NCA to eliminate fraudsters.

Additionally, the CAC called upon the Bank of Ghana to provide guidelines for the regulation of Mobile Money Transactions.

Prof. Goski Alabi noted that the Telcos were taking consumers for granted in that they were not willing to accept alternative views on how to sanitise Mobile Money Transactions to eliminate fraud. She assured that the CAC was more than willing to collaborate with other stakeholders to deal with SIM card-related fraud

She submitted that the registration of SIM cards without any national identification was the root cause of fraud perpetrated on victims.

All panel members of Roundtable Discussion were unanimous on the need for stronger stakeholder collaboration to uproot the menace of SIM Card fraud.

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