Revector: Mobile phone fraud rampant in Ghana

·         MTN Ghana claims more than 70 million minutes rerouted off network in six months

·         Revector identifies hundreds of active SIM boxes on competing network

In September 2011, the National Communications Authority (NCA) of Ghana announced that 98.44% of all SIM’s detected for gateway bypass in Ghana were located on the Airtel network.

In response, Airtel Ghana’s Revenue Assurance Manager Nixon Wampamba stated that Airtel Ghana is losing US$500,000 per month to the fraudsters, and that the NCA’s detection of Airtel numbers in SIM Boxes has reduced from “about 500 a day to 100 day”.

Following this exchange Revector, the global leader in mobile anti-fraud solutions, has identified more than 10% of all international phone calls into Ghana as being subject to SIM Box or GSM Gateway fraud.

“SIM box fraud” takes place when individuals or organisations purchase hundreds of SIM cards which offer free or low cost calls to mobile numbers. These are then used to channel national or international calls away from a mobile network and present them as local calls on their networks. This results in the significant loss of international call revenues which should rightly be collected by the mobile network operator.

Andy Gent, CEO of Revector commented: “We are consistently seeing more than 10% of all incoming International traffic in Ghana terminating via illegal routes. I am amazed certain operators are not taking a more active stance against the fraud occurring on networks, particularly when losses of half a million US dollars per month could be eradicated for an investment of less than 5% of that cost.”

SIM Box fraud is not just unique to Ghana.  Revector is seeing similar and more widespread fraud in other countries.  In Kenya gateway bypass is often as high as 50%, whilst in Paraguay it is even more substantial with the figure as high as 90%.  The result of this is a staggering amount of monetary loss for governments, operators and end users.

Revector provides a full investigation service to address illegal termination (SIM Box fraud) including Locate and Eliminate – a solution that provides mobile operators with the most sophisicated tools yet to instantly detect SIM box fraud on a network and pinpoint the location from where the fraud is taking place, it is so precise that it will identify a transmitting location down to a room or apartment, within a building.  Our endeavours result in the arrest and prosecution of the culprits responsible and the destruction or confiscation of their illegal bypass equipment.

Andy Gent continued: “We have the tools to accurately identify, locate and raid SIM Box fraudsters to stamp this activity out. If an operator fails to recognise the threat and actively address fraud on their network they are aiding and abetting criminals. The industry needs to be seen to be driving arrests and seizures of equipment; this is the only way we can end what amounts to a multibillion dollar global crime spree.”