National Director of Cyber Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent/Dr. Herbert Gustav Yankson, has revealed individual Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses lost a total $ 201 million to cyber fraudsters between 2016 and August 2018.
Providing a breakdown of the situation in an interview with TopNews Ghana on the sidelines of a recent campaign to create awareness on national cyber security month (October 2018) at Bolgatanga Senior High School, Winkogo, Dr. Yankson said fraudsters succeeded in making away with $ 35 million in 2016, $ 69 million in 2017 and $ 97 million as at August 2018, totaling $ 201 million.
He disclosed that fraud, which is basically using deception to obtain money from victims, constitutes 60% of crimes recorded on daily basis in Ghana.
According to him, cases of cybercrimes are fast increasing in Ghana thus the need for Ghanaians to report suspected cyber criminals to the police for immediate action.
He also cautioned that sharing of people’s nude pictures is crime which if found guilty, one may get a maximum jail term of ten years.
“Cybercrime is so dynamic because if they realise that this one is not working, they move to another and so we will keep engaging with the public.” He said.
Dr. Yankson, however assured that at his department, they are also up to the task and if the criminals change their strategies, they equally change to meet them squarely including the way they investigate crimes related to fraud.
In order to stay updated to contain the changing trends, Dr. Yankson said the capacity of the police is being built regularly on cybercrimes across the country.
According to him, awareness is critical in fighting cyber fraud because if people are aware of how to protect themselves and their money, it will significantly reduce the cyber fraud trend, build the capacity of the police and also to ensure some reforms of our laws to ensure they cater for everything.
He said the move by the government to go digital in some critical agencies of the country is in the right direction because it is convenient but cautioned that it also provides opportunity for the criminals to operate.
Dr. Yankson, therefore, called on all Ghanaians whom he described as stakeholders especially parents, students, teachers and business owners to be vigilant when transacting business in the cyber space including Mobile Money by protecting their security features such as passwords or Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).
The awareness campaign brought together hundreds of students from Bolgatanga Senior High School, Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School, Zuarungu Senior High School, Zamse Senior High/Technical School and their teachers. They were sensitised on a wide range of issues on cyber security.
It was organised by the Ministry of Communications and National Cyber Security Center under the theme: ‘A safer Digital Ghana.’