The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has indicated that there has been a surge in fraudulent online business transactions in recent times.
It said this had come at the back of fraudsters cashing in on the convenience of transacting business online and depriving members of the public of their hard-earned monies.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by EOCO signed by Mrs Faustina Lartey, Head of Public Affairs for the Executive Director, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema.
“Criminals have targeted the online purchase/delivery services and are defrauding unsuspecting members of the public,” it stated.
The mode of operations, according to EOCO starts with the criminals opening fake online accounts where they advertise attractive items at competitive prices, while offering door-to-door delivery services.
It added that, no such shops existed, therefore, the operators do not encourage shop visits or picking up of items in person, saying full payment before delivery was their preferred business module.
The criminals after receiving the full payment of the substantial amount of money, stop interacting with their victims and block their contact numbers or social media pages.
EOCO, therefore, advised the public to do due diligence before parting with money when indulging in online shopping.
It said in line with its mandate to prevent and detect organized crime, it would continue to monitor developments with online transactions with the view to ensuring that citizens are were protected from such fraudsters.
In a related development, EOCO has cautioned the public on the activities of criminals taking advantage of the ongoing call on customers of banks to link their accounts to that of their Ghana Card to defraud people.
It noted that in the bank frauds, messages were sent to individuals requesting them to click on links to update their bank records, following which unsuspecting customers were required to provide their bank account numbers, mobile numbers, mobile app pin, and the One Time Password (OTP).
The statement said some daring fraudsters even made phone calls to members of the public to request that information.
EOCO has therefore advised the public not to click on any link purporting to be emanating from their banks unless they have been confirmed by the bank.
It reminded the public that banks would never ask for the customer’s password, pin, or OTP, and urged the victim to immediately report any suspicious SMS, email, or phone call to their banks.