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Financial fraud: GH¢82m stolen from SDIs, Banks, MoMo accounts

Financial fraud resulted in the theft of GH¢82 million from Banks, Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) mobile money account in 2022

The money was stolen from Banks, Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) and Payment Service Providers (PSPs).

GH¢56m stolen from Banks, SDIs
It comprises GH¢56 million stolen from Banks and SDIs and GH¢26 million stolen from Mobile Money which falls in the category of PSPs.

GH¢26m stolen from mobile money accounts
It means that GH¢56 million SDIs and banks represents 68% while the GH¢26 million stolen from mobile money accounts is 32%.

Fraud report
These are contained in the Bank of Ghana’s fraud report on Banks, Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) and Payment Service Providers (PSPs).
This report is a definitive overview of various attempted and/or successful fraudulent activities recorded by Ghana’s Banking Institutions, Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions and Payment Service Providers.

It presents the industry position for the period 01 January – 31 December 2022.
The criminals stole approximately GH¢56 million from the financial system in 2022 compared to approximately GH¢61 million stolen in 2021. This shows a 7.88% decrease from 2021.

15,164 fraud incidents
Over this period the total number of fraud incidents recorded was GH¢15,164.

12,166 Mobile money fraud cases
Mobile money fraud registered 12,166 cases in the year 2022, as against 12,350 cases recorded in 2021, indicating a marginal decrease.
Although fraud incidents reduced marginally in 2022 comparatively, the loss values reported were higher than that of 2021.

2,998 cases attempted fraud cases for banks, SDIs
The year 2022 recorded 2,998 cases of attempted fraud cases for the banking and SDI sectors.
This represents an increase of 27.74% when compared to the 2,347 cases recorded in 2021.

188 Bank staff involved
The fraud cases involving bank staff decreased to 188 in 2022, as compared to 278 in 2021.
Most of the incidents recorded involving staff had to do with cash theft (cash suppression) from customers’ accounts and happened to be a very common fraud typology in the Rural and Community banking sector.

Types of financial fraud
The top five fraud typologies that impacted most of the institutions in the sector included forgery and manipulation of documents, fraudulent withdrawals, cheque fraud, cyber/e-mail and cash theft (cash suppression).

GH¢33m stolen through forgery and manipulation of documents
A sum of GH¢33 million was stolen through forgery and manipulation of documents out of the attempted GH¢34 million.
Forgery and manipulation of document recorded the most losses in 2022. This is a significant increase of 334.99 % from the GH¢7 million stolen in 2021.
Out of this, universal banks (commercial banks) booked a loss of GH¢32 million. This accounted for 97% ofs total losses recorded.
Forgery and manipulation of documents refers to the creation or altering of a document with the intent to defraud someone. It is also the process of modifying, reordering, or decoding of information with human intervention.

GH¢7m stolen through fraudulent withdrawals
In respect of fraudulent withdrawals, the amount stolen recorded a significant jump of GH¢7 million in 2022 as compared to GH¢620,000 recorded in 2021. This shows a 1039.09% increase in 2022.
Fraudulent withdrawals rose from 19 cases in 2021 to 347 cases in 2022, a 1,726.32% increase, year-on-year.
The banking sector accounted for the highest success rate of 98% while the savings and loans sector followed with a success rate of 2%.
Fraudulent withdrawals refer to unauthorized access to the accounts and wallets of clients.

GH¢5.1m stolen through cheque fraud
The report shows that GH¢5.1 million was stolen through cheque fraud, representing an increase of 1,254.46% when compared with GH¢370,000 stolen in 2021.
Out of the total loss of GH¢ 5.1 million recorded in 2022, universal banks recorded a loss of GH¢ 5million, with the rural and community banking sector incurring the rest of the losses. Data collated indicates that majority of the loss emanated from the universal banking sector.
Cheque fraud also recorded some significant losses. Most of the cases recorded in 2022 were issues of cloned cheques.
Cheque fraud refers to the unlawful use of cheques for the purpose of acquiring funds illegally.

GH¢4.3 m lost through cyber-email fraud
Through cyber-email fraud the criminals succeeded in stealing GH¢4.3 million, an increase of 65.55% over the GH¢2.6 million stolen in 2021.
Cyber/e-mail fraud also saw an upsurge in the number of cases from 50 cases in 2021, to 422 in 2022 representing a 744% increase.
Due to the nature and sophistication of this fraud, the universal banks were the primary targets.
Cyber/e-mail fraud refers to malicious e-mails that aim to trick recipients into giving up sensitive information such as bank account details and passwords.

GH¢3.9m stolen through Cash theft/cash suppression
For cash theft/suppression, the amount lost in 2022 was GH¢3.9 million.
Cash theft (Cash suppression) remains high, though in terms of percent change it recorded a 7.12 % decrease from 2021. Cash theft for 2022 saw a 6.01% increase from 1,530 in 2021 to 1,622.
Despite efforts being made by banks and SDIs to curb this menace, more needs to be done. The issue of cash theft (cash suppression) continues to be on the increase in the SDI sector. Most of the cases reported emanate from the rural and community banking sector.
Impersonation saw an increase from 20 cases in 2021 to 285 cases in 2022, an increase of 1325% year-on-year.

GH¢3.4m lost to ATM/Card Fraud
In 2022, the value of reported ATM/card fraud amounted to GH¢96,250 out of which GH¢61,930 was successfully recovered.
This means that only GH¢34,320) of the reported losses was pocketed by the thieves.

GH¢275,140 lost to Lending/Credit fraud
Lending or credit fraud reported in 2022 amounted to GH¢342,990.
Of this amount, GH¢67.850 was successfully recovered while GH¢275,140 was lost.

GH¢1.3m lost to Impersonation
According to the Central Bank, monies lost in 2022 due to impersonation amounted to GH¢1.3 million (GH¢1,379,100) out of which GH¢39,910 was retrieved and GH¢1.3 million GH¢1,339,180 was retained by the perpetrators.

GH¢261,710 lost to Burglary
The BoG reported stated that some GH¢266,960 was burgled in 2022, out of which some GH¢5,250 was recovered, leaving some GH¢261,710 was lost to the thieves.

GH¢6,560 lost to Remittances
The total amount involved in remittance fraud reports received by the authorities amounted to GH¢6,560.
They failed to recover anything in this particular case.

GH¢25,620 lost to types of financial fraud
Other types of financial fraud reported in the 2022 financial year involved an amount of GH¢32.2 million (GH¢32,209,990) out of which GH¢32.1 million (GH¢32,184,370) was recovered, leaving an amount of GH¢25,620 in the hands of the thieves.

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