Business and Economy

Virtual ‘scramble for Africa’, Africa’s mobile fraud losses to cybercriminals may hit $5b in 2021

Africa’s mobile fraud losses will continue to rise above last year’s USD 4 billion to peak at a record USD 5 billion by the end of 2021 if nothing is done to prevent global cybercriminals from looting the continent’s wealth in a new, virtual ‘scramble for Africa’. 

This is according to Paris-based anti-fraud campaigner David Lotfi, CEO of Evina. “In Africa, we have the perfect storm of a youthful population using almost a billion mobile money accounts coupled with the Coronavirus-related one-third increase in Internet traffic.”  Lotfi says.

Professional cybercriminals from around the world are costing the world’s least developed continent billions every year that could be spent on infrastructure and social services. Mr. Lotfi explains that mobile payment is being impacted by two primary forms of mobile fraud. 

“Today clickjacking and malicious app are the two most common forms of mobile fraud. Through the clickjacking technique, a fraudster intercepts a legitimate click and unknowingly directs the user to a website where sensitive financial and other details can be stolen.

Malicious apps are trickier, these apps have been injected with malware during a disguised app update or right from the start when the user unwittingly downloads the app from the app store, with the same purpose of defrauding the user,” Mr. Lotfi explains.

Evina claims that in the Middle Eastern and African regions the fraud rate is at 27% and of these fraudulent attacks, 60% are clickjacking and 19% are malicious apps.

While embedding malware in malicious apps can be a more refined fraudulent technique, clickjacking is a very basic type of fraud that has been around for at least five years and mostly eradicated in large parts of the mobile world.

“It’s easy to combat and there really is no excuse for the fact that one in three mobile subscriptions in South Africa, for example, is fraudulent. Evina has repeatedly communicated the fact that the fraudsters who continue to loot Africa’s wealth can be beaten with the right tools that we already use to protect millions of mobile transactions worldwide every day,” Mr. Lotfi says.

Evina is now protecting up to 90% of mobile transaction activities in Ivory Coast, Morocco and Senegal. Evina also secures traffic in African countries such as Mali, Ghana, Congo, Kenya, Botswana, Angola and all countries in the Middle East including Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.

In Africa, Evina DCBprotect was shortlisted for AfricaCom’s Most Innovative Product or Service Award which recognizes a game-changing innovation that’s provided a market with new opportunities for revenue growth or customer satisfaction.

It is this Evina flagship offering that can help African mobile carriers, mobile aggregators, mobile advertisers and others recover the over billions lost annually to digital monetization fraud.

In addition to this, Evina was awarded as Best Anti-Fraud Solution on a global scale at the Global Carrier Billing Summit, alongside industry clients and partners, for its effort in protecting companies worldwide and expanding the boundaries of mobile payment.  

“Africa is a strategic region of huge importance to Evina and the greater mobile industry because this is where strong double-digit growth is coming from. We cannot allow mobile fraudsters to gain a beachhead on this pivotal continent key to the future fortunes of so many telcos, aggregators and digital merchants,” says Mr. Lotfi.

Worldwide, telcos trust Evina to safeguard their business interests as well as their end users from mobile fraud that has the potential to generate tens of thousands of malicious transactions per month. The company today secures over sixteen million daily transactions across 60 world markets by preventing malicious mobile apps from making payments.

“Evina has already taken on mobile fraudsters in other markets and contributed to a dramatic drop in fraud in those markets. African firms need to act now if they want to ensure the future of the continent’s entire mobile content and applications market,” concludes Mr. Lotfi.

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