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MTN Mobile Money SMS Refund Scams: Their Modus Operandi

In a refund scam, you will receive an SMS notifying you that there is money in your MoMo which may be an overpayment, or a wrong deposit, or a wrong transfer. You are then asked to refund the money back to them. However, be rest assured that they all belong to the same gang.

The recent phenomenon of MTN Mobile Money SMS Refund Scams is on the rise and many are called to be vigilant, to be on the lookout for new techniques for as long as the tech world is concerned, nobody can be too safe.

As you read this article, please do us a favor and share it with those you love, and don’t forget to change your Pincode more often for security reasons. Follow along as we uncover the new common MTN Mobile Money Refund Scam fraudsters use to make a fortune.

Wait a minute! Is the whole MTN Mobile Money thing a scam? Why is it that Orange Money and Yoomee Money users don’t experience mobile money scandals like MTN users? At times most people fall victim, while others simply outsmart them as well. 

Something is not right somewhere. This malpractice should have been nipped in the bud stage. How most people fall for this scam is surprising to the ears. This is a call for concern. As the days go by, scammers derive new strategies to extort money from their victims. 

So far, MTN Cameroon has the largest customer base in Cameroon. All in all, this also accounts for the rampant fraud incidence we hear about every day.

In Cameroon, the situation is getting worse by the day with several users questioning the service’s claim to safety and security if it can’t track and root out the scammers employing its service for dubious and fraudulent activities.

DISCLAIMER: This article is a self-employed method. I am in no way connected to these guys

If you have been a victim, kindly go to the police station and file a complaint.
Read and learn as you stay safe

God bless you all

What is Mobile Money?

Mobile money and digital technology have created a whole range of new opportunities for customers and businesses. However, there’s a flip side to these innovations as well — the darker side. You see, the criminal underworld/fraudsters have also benefitted from the explosion of digital tech and the internet.

Although telecoms have done their best to curb the fraud surrounding the service, defrauders also reinvent their business plans, they build networks and work together to advance their illicit agendas.

Criminals have resorted to social engineering to get into mobile money accounts and exploit mobile money customers online.

MTN Mobile Money SMS Refund Scams 

Avoiding Refund Scams: In a refund scam, you will receive an SMS notifying you that there is money in your MoMo which may be an overpayment, or a wrong deposit, or a wrong transfer. You are then asked to refund the money back to them.

Their Modus Operandi

The mode of operation of mobile money scammers is yet to be fully understood. But from experiences, we do know that the fraudsters play mind games on their victims.

When this particular fraud is about to take place, the fake agent sends a message to alert the MoMo subscriber of an error with his or her account and requests that the subscriber refunds the money back to them.

In the middle of the pandemic, many have witnessed the rise of unauthorized mobile money withdrawal requests from their MTN lines. This makes the whole system so insecure and threatening to new customers.

WARNING: On the 8th-10th of February 2020, Some MTN users saw their money illegally Withdrawn by MTN without their consent in a withdrawal message without them approving of it with their secret pin code.

MTN said in their communique that the incident was caused by a successful online business transaction with a recognized MTN partner (My Express Ticket) debited by MTN from their Mobile money account without their consent.

When I remember how my brother was scammed by these fraudsters somewhere in 2021, I feel like Cameroon is no longer safe. The government should strive to make the mobile money sector great again.

Back to my brother’s fraud case — one evening, I was editing articles for my blog when he rang my phone and broke shocking news to my ears. He had just been scammed by a loser. 

But how did they get here? According to his narration, one supposed mission commander by the name of Steven called him with a strange number and complained that he had mistakenly sent 64,000 XAF to his account. 

The fraudster somehow convinced him (my brother) to check the message in his inbox to confirm the transaction, and kindly resend the money to him (Steven the fraudster). 

Acting religiously (but impulsively), my brother, without checking his account balance indeed confirmed receipt of the “fake” Mobile Money deposit message and “ignorantly” transferred 64,000 XAF to the fraudsters.

In the course of our investigation, we came across their MTN Mobile Money Refund SMS Scams which go thus:

MTN Mobile Money SMS Refund Scams

MobileMoney Vous avez recu 64,000 FCFA de JIOKENNG MASASAH GUILLENE ROSINE (237677592367) le 2020-02-02 12:06:12. Transaction Id: 992721848. Reference: 1. Nouveau solde; FCFA 139,850

MTN Mobile Money Refund SMS Scam

When he then read her remaining balance from the transaction message, my brother collapsed in tears. After carefully digesting the environment we had been talking about, He realized he got scammed and the fraudster didn’t even have to break a sweat.

Most mobile fraudsters use this deception strategy as their modus operandi. After falling victim to these Momo scammers, my brother hasn’t been the same. He’s learned through the hard way, not to be too religious and trusting.

While mobile money fraud incidences are becoming very common, many Momo users have no idea how to report such unfortunate events. 

It took my intervention before my poor brother finally learned about the MTN momo fraud report. As a good Samaritan and a smart tech freak, I’ll also show you how to be safe from the fraudsters.

Steps MTN Mobile Money SMS Refund Scams fraudsters deploy:

  1. A MoMo authorization prompt from a registered Merchant (even if you haven’t allowed Cash Out);
  2. A call from a fraudster telling you about a wrong transaction to your MoMo number.
  3. Another bunch of MoMo authorization prompts from the same registered Merchant even after canceling them
  4. A landline or any MTN number claiming to be an MTN agent will call to stay vigilant
  5. Call from a fraudster jabbing you for being the cause of their MoMo number being blocked
  6. The landline/fake MTN agent will call again asking to help clear the authorization prompts on your phone
  7. A 4-digit PIN will be sent to you
  8. When you send them the PIN from Ayoba, it’s over for you. Do you have other MOMO fraud tricks, don’t hesitate to share in the comment section below.

How to Report MTN Mobile Money Fraud Cases In Cameroon

It’s okay to get duped once by Momo fraudsters. But it’s not okay not to know how to report them. MTN Cameroon has communication channels for customers to report fraud cases. The only question is how many reporting channels do you know?

The faster you report the scammers, the higher your chance of retrieving the money. That’s if the scammers don’t cash out the money immediately. 

But I believe they are experts in the business. Some scammers are not ashamed to ask Google, “how to send fake mobile money messages?”

Whatever it’s, you can always report fraud cases even when the scammers don’t succeed in stealing your money. After all, you can’t predict when they’ll attempt to defraud you again. 

The next few paragraphs explain the various ways you can report MTN Mobile money fraud cases in Cameroon.

Call MTN Customer Care on 8787

 The standard customer care number for MTN is 8787. 

It used to be 7123. But now, calling 7123 isn’t recommended for you to report Momo fraud to MTN. Use your MTN contact to dial 8787 to report a Momo fraud case. It’s toll-free.

You will have to choose your language and other options, to speak with an MTN call center representative. 

Once the center picks up your call, go ahead to tell them your story and request them to block the transaction to the fraudulent number (if possible).

Thanks to their improved customer service, the MTN call center now picks up calls within a short time. Once upon a time, calling the MTN help center was time-wasting.

 Contact MTN Cameroon on Twitter

You may not be aware of these MTN media accounts. But mind you, it’s a legit Momo fraud reporting channel that works like a charm. All you need to do is, use your smartphone or desktop computer to log in to your Twitter account.

Once you’re done describing the details of the fraud incidence, send it to @MTNC_Care or @MTNCameroon

Hopefully, MTN staff would look into the case and get back to you.

 Text a Message (an SMS) to 8787

MTN has dedicated a shortcode to serve as a medium for reporting scams. It’s 8787 — very easy to commit to your memory. 

To report your Momo fraud, open your messages application, type your message, and send it to 8787. You won’t be charged a dime.

At the end of the day, the MTN Mobile anti-fraud team will respond to you appropriately.

 Report Fraud to any MTN Service Center

MTN Cameroon operates several customer service centers nationwide. These MTN branches exist in many regions, municipalities, and localities in Cameroon. 

They don’t only sell or register SIM cards for customers. The service centers also act as official bodies of MTN Cameroon. To report a fraud case, find the nearest MTN office and visit them. Their doors are open to your complaints.

 Report Fraud to Cameroon Police Service

Yes, these uniformed security guys are there to ensure law and order. Mobile money fraud is a highly criminal offense that’s punishable by law. 

Extreme cases demand extreme measures. If Mobile money scammers are not afraid to break the law, why should you hesitate to report them to the police? 

I know you are asking: how do you report MoMo scammers to the police when you don’t know where they are?

The answer is, that sometimes you know where they are. The fraudsters call you with their numbers, right? Besides that, some scammers are mobile money vendors with fixed locations. 

If you suspect that a Momo agent is a fraudster, call the cops on that son of a bitch.

How to keep your MOMO account safe

To protect yourself from falling victim to this (new) scam, make sure you double-check that the recipient indeed sent the SMS message —if you ever got a text like this.

Why keeping your MoMo PIN to yourself is not enough

MTN, like many others in a similar situation, would do, issued a basic ‘first aid’ or common sense sort of solution to subscribers — keep your MoMo PIN to yourself. But is it enough to simply keep your MTN Mobile Money PIN safe by not disclosing it to others? This is the question I’ll attempt to provide an answer or two for in this article

Keeping MoMo PIN safe doesn’t stop Mobile Money fraud

Before you read any further, here’s a question to keep in your mind. Aside from yourself, who else knows your Mobile Money PIN? And how often do they have access to your phone? We’ll come back to that in a bit.

Mobile Money fraud thrives on the innocence and ignorance of the unsuspecting victim. You have to admit, when you analyze the story of some of the victims, you’ll arrive at the conclusion that there’s some degree of sophistication to these perpetrators.

It went from the amateurish “I mistakenly transferred some money to your account”, to them calling you and marketing some ideas which end up with you entering a sizeable amount and authorizing the transaction before you realize what was happening all along. 

Other Common Mobile Money Scam

We will exclusively cover the different scenarios of mobile money scams in our future articles. But as the nature of these attacks keep evolving, it’s better to keep logs on these common attacks;

  1. Promotional Scam calls: The most common is one where fraudsters call with a cunning message such as “You have won 20 Million in our promotion, please send us some airtime or money worth XXX XAF to process or redeem your prize”. Don’t fall for this, please.
  2. A new wave of defrauders calling you asking about the mobile money balance you have in your account. Meanwhile, they’ll also try to guess your password on mobile money apps. This is also quite rampant. The next SMS you will receive is MTN sending you a text saying your Mobile Money account has been temporally suspended after trying too many wrong PINs. Don’t fall for such trickery when a stranger calls you saying they are from a telecom operator and carrying out updates, i.e. requesting your mobile money PIN.

If you have been scammed or you have any security tips for us, let us know in the comments section.

Conclusion

Mobile money fraud is on the increase. You can’t tell when these bad guys will play tricks on you.

But you can take the following precautionary measures to fight scammers.

  • Don’t reveal your Momo PIN to anyone.
  • Know them by their language. Most scammers speak/write very bad English.
  • Don’t trust strange numbers. 683008787 and 650528787 are MTN’s official contact. A legit MoMo message comes with the sender ID “MobileMoney”. Don’t trust strange numbers.
References

https://www.jbklutse.com/mtn-mobile-money-fraud-momo-pin/

https://www.dignited.com/70436/mobile-money-scam/

https://kumasiano.com/mtn-mobile-money-fraud/

https://ghanafuo.com/new-mtn-mobile-money-fraud-trick/

https://cameroonnewsagency.com/mtn-mobile-money-merchants-threaten-to-drag-company-to-court-over-money-withdrawal/

https://www.stopblablacam.com/culture-and-society/0412-2301-yes-scammers-send-fake-mobile-money-notifications-via-sms

https://mfidie.com/4-ways-to-know-if-an-mtn-mobile-money-call-or-sms-is-fake/

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