As Mobile Money increasingly becomes popular locally and across the world, fraud cases have been on the rise. As of 2019 there were 481 million registered mobile money accounts in Africa, making up 46 per cent of global accounts, with more people turning to using mobile wallets instead of cash, as a safer option. The number of international and African players entering and expand into new markets across the continent providing user-friendly alternative to processing micro-payments and reduce the amount of cash people need to carry with them. However, with the progress, cyber security experts say have also seen an increase of multiple forms of fraud. Bethwel Opil, a Manager at Kaspersky in Africa said that threat actors are constantly coming up with more innovative tactics to compromise people’s wallets whether these pertain to traditional bank accounts or mobile wallets “While there is ample benefit to be gained from mobile money, spam, phishing, social engineering, and fraud all form part of the cyber-attack landscape when it comes to this innovation. Threat actors are constantly coming up with more innovative tactics to compromise people’s wallets whether these pertain to traditional bank accounts or mobile wallets,” Opil said. The firm noted that telcos and other service providers have to maintain standards and procedures that will curb vulnerability as well as improve consumer education. “Security is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. And like all other digital solutions, this is often the end user. Education is therefore the most critical component of mitigating the risk of social engineering compromises from people opening malicious links, sharing sensitive information, or falling foul of fraudulent schemes,” Opil said. Among ways clients can reduce vulnerability include avoiding having a device being compromised by refraining from clicking on malicious emails, attachments, or other messages. “Users must look out for red flags in communication from those purporting to be from service providers. For example, they need to be wary of grammatical mistakes, attempts to incite a sense of urgency or danger, e-mail addresses and links that differ from the official ones (even if just by one letter), and so on,” Kaspersky officials advice. “Never trust messages unconditionally. It is imperative to check any potential issues through one’s personal account on the Website or in the mobile money app. This is especially important when it comes to messages confirming the crediting of funds,” they added. Users are also urged to avoid using unfamiliar delivery service especially with regard to online purchases. “It goes without saying that users must never give out personal information beyond what is necessary for the transaction. This includes usernames and passwords,” experts further said. “In many respects, it is still the ‘Wild West’ when it comes to mobile money and e-wallets. Even though the solutions are safely used by millions of people daily, hackers are always on the lookout for soft targets. Constant vigilance and education remain essential to safeguard against any potential compromises,” Opil said. MTN Rwanda, in 2020 saw their active mobile money user base grow from 2.8 Million to 3.2m while Momo pay users had increased from about 200,000 to about 1.4m. However, with the increased uptake and usage mobile money, there has been an increase of fraud which the firm said is constantly working to curb including awareness campaigns.