Common fraudulent activities in Ghana you should look out for

Cybercrime is one of the major fraudulent activities in Ghana

One of the most common form of crimes in Ghana is fraud, with unsuspecting individuals and organizations swindled by perpetrators, causing them to lose millions of cedis. 

The Ghana Police Service and other security agencies are working to control crime, but it is the collective responsibility of every individual to always be alert in crime inducing situations. 

GhanaWeb has compiled a list of the various kinds of fraudulent activities to look out for, so you do not fall victim to the unscrupulous act. 

According to the Director of the Cybercrime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, Dr. Gustav Yankson, Ghana lost US$105 million in 2018 due to cybercrime, one of the major fraudulent activities in the country. 

Cybercrime comes in many ways, and here are some of them: 

Sextortion (Sexual extortion)

It is a form of revenge porn that uses non-physical force to extort sexual favors or money from the victim. The revenge porn is usually put on the internet when the victim hesitates to meet the perpetrators needs. Women are usually victims of this act since they send nudes/sexual videos to their lovers. 

It is advisable to desist from taking pictures or videos of your private parts and send to another person.

There have been many reported cases of sextortion this year. On January 14, 2019, two men were arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command for blackmailing their patrons after having sex with them at Gomoa Buduburam in the Gomoa East of the Central region. The Kasoa Divisional Police Commander, ACP David Agyeman Adjem called on Ghanaians to be vigilante especially those who choose lovers on social media. 

Mobile money fraud

Mobile money has been in Ghana for close to a decade, and has become the commonest means of transferring money, as well as paying for utilities. Security of the system has been compromised as many fraudulent activities have been reported in the system. 

The fraudsters sometimes call their victims claiming they mistakenly sent money into their accounts and plead the money be sent back to the. This usually follows a fake mobile money Cash-In text which can easily trick one into sending money to these criminals. 

The fraudsters also call victims under the pretext of being from the service provider and request for person’s PIN. 

Other people are also tricked into believing that they have won a cash prize, which can only be accessible if they send a token amount. 

Here is one of the reported cases of mobile money fraud this year: 

On February 15, 2019, a 25 year-old-man who has admitted running a mobile money-skimming scam in the Ashanti Region, has been taken into prison custody by a District Magistrate Court in Bekwai. He called the complainant to inform him that he had won an MTN promo, and told him to transfer GH¢500 to him through Momo to redeem his prize.

Catfish social media accounts

A catfish is someone who opens a social media account and pretends to be someone else. This is a popular fraudulent strategy among the “fraud/yahoo boys” to strip unsuspecting male victims of their money. 

The fake social media accounts are of extremely beautiful women, who form a ‘relationship’ with men online and extort their money. 

At the end of the day, it is revealed that these social media accounts belong to men and the images they post there as themselves, are actually of unknown people. 

Some women are also involved in this and on July 5, 2019, social media influencer Hosii caused the arrest of a lady who used her pictures in a catfish tinder account.

Other fraudulent activities you should look out for

Passport and Visa acquisition fraud

Some Ghanaians want faster ways to get their passports and Visas to travel abroad and usually fall prey to people who promise to help them in that regard, if they are given a certain amount of money.

Some Ghanaians want faster ways to get their passports and Visas to travel abroad and usually fall prey to people who promise to help them in that regard, if they are given a certain amount of money. 

The lucky ones have the fraudsters running off with their money, without helping them achieve their target. 

Those who are unlucky on the other hand, receive fake travel documents from these so-called agents and find themselves in trouble when they are detected at the airport. 

On June 4, 2016, the Police in Accra arrested three persons for allegedly engaging in the production of counterfeit visas. The police retrieved 150 fake Ghanaian passports and other counterfeit documents from the hideout of the suspects at Adabraka in Accra. They claim to be ‘travel and tour consultants’. 

National Service Scheme placement fraud

University graduates are sometimes placed as national service personnel in organizations far away from the regions they reside in. They therefore go for reposting but usually fall prey to fraudsters. 

These fraudsters solicit huge amounts of money from them with the promise of giving them better placement. The graduates barely hear from them again. 

On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, the National Service Secretariat cautioned prospective service personnel and the public to be wary of persons who claim they can offer them postings to their preferred institutions at a fee. The National Service Secretariat urged individuals who encounter such unscrupulous persons to report them to the police.

Property acquisition fraud

The purchase of lands, houses, cars etc. should be done using ‘safe’ means. It is necessary that you involve the Ghana Police Service when you are getting purchase documents; it may be fake when you are dealing with a fraudster. You should also double check before sending money to people you are purchasing from. 

Many have reported cases where they purchase lands and start building on it only to have another person stop them, also claiming ownership of the land. Usually, none of these two have all the documents to prove the land belongs to them. 

On August 1, 2017, police in the Upper East region, in conjunction with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) arrested two fake car document producers. The suspects had fabricated such illegal materials for many end users in the Upper East region. The fake materials include driving license, birth certificates, road worthy certificates and insurance stickers.


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