Refugee loses 500,000 Ugx shillings in mobile money fraud

By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto

Moriku Stella, a South Sudanese refugee living in Boroli refugee settlement in Adjumani district was left in tears after unknown man who claimed to be an agent of MTN Uganda asked her to read her pin number for confirmation and resetting.

Moriku explained to No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday that she received a call from unfamiliar number telling her that scammers want to change her pin for mobile money.

She narrated that the conman then told her that he is the rightful person that can help but advised her to keep the secret.

“Yes, it is true that I lost 500,000 shillings to the conman after he called me and asked my location and also asked me to confirm my names as unknown people want to change her name,” she explained.

“Since the number is like an office number, I gave them my details then later asked me to read my previous pin number of which I did,” she continued.

“They later asked me to be online and confirm my previous pin then I received a message that I have withdrawn 500,000 shillings,” she sadly recounted.

Moriku said the money stolen was sent by her daughter who is based in Kenya to boost her mobile money business.

Moriku noted that it was her first time to be scammed since she started her business in 2020.

“This has never happened to me and it is my first time to receive such calls,” she said.

Moriku now appealed to the public to be careful as the number of scammers increase in her area.

“Be very suspicious whenever you hear the word ‘PIN’ in any phone conversations or text message even if it is someone you know,” she cautioned.

“I am urging everyone to be double careful because they will be victims also,” she warned.

Moriku however said she did not report the matter to police explaining that it is waste of time to go and report it to police since it was her mistake.

Last year in December Taban Moris Lojongo also a refugee in Alere was scammed and lost 2 million Ugandan shillings.

Police reports indicate that total of 4,143 cases of mobile phone theft were reported in 2021 compared to 4,043 cases reported in 2020, showing a 2.4 percent increase. 

Police also reported that most of the cases were a result of snatching from unsuspecting members of the public according to the 2021/2022.

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