I am one of the people who have been enjoying MTN Mobile Money (MM) services ever since I subscribed, about a decade ago.
I would prefer keeping my money on MM rather than my bank account, simply because I could easily access it from almost every part of the country. When Mokash was introduced recently, I liked it as it could give quick loans in regard to what/how you save with them, so I believe I have been a good customer there.
However, failure by the MTN IT or cyber department to protect its customers’ money, has forced me to reach the decision of unsubscribing from these services.
As I write this, I have finished withdrawing all the money I have on both my Mokash and Mobile Mobile accounts. The next move will be to deregister my accounts with MTN Uganda.
I did not wake up one day and plan to unsubscribe from these services. The story dates way back in 2014 when fraudsters started calling my number claiming I had won some prizes from the telecommunications company even when I had not subscribed to any of their promotions.
Am very sure it’s not only me, I have talked to many of my friends and most of them have received a call from these people. I don’t know if they are one group or in many fraudulent groups, and it’s not my work anyway.
At first I did not take it serious, but these people persistently called me on different occasions and even when I told them that I am too wise to fall victim of their tricks, they did not relent.
I wouldn’t be minding them because I can switch them off whenever they call, but these people disturb; they don’t care whether you are in the middle of something or not, when you tell them off, they abuse you; they are good at that.
Fortunately, I have not fallen victim yet, but I know of people they have successfully defrauded of their money and some ended in prison because they borrowed the money to send to these fraudsters expecting a lot in return.
So when they realised that they won’t be successful on me but believe I keep some money on both Mokash and Mobile Money, they have introduced another trick of guessing the Pin Code of my MTN line. They have so far tried their luck three times but have failed to guess it right. The first time was a few days after some fraudsters hacked into the mobile money system and fleeced MTN, Airtel, Stanbic Bank and Bank of Africa of billions of shillings.
I didn’t take the first try serious though I was concerned, then after a week they tried again and received a message from MTN that my mobile money account had been blocked because I had put in three wrong pin codes yet I was pretty sure that wasn’t me. This prompted me to call the service centre to notify them that someone was playing with my MTN MM.
The lady that I talked to seemed not be having any solution to this as she only told me that if I wanted to access my account she could reset the pin code and I would be able to access it in 1 hour instead of the recommended 12 hours when the account is blocked. Of course I could not change the pin code that had defeated the fraudsters.
When I asked her if as a company they had any mechanism of stopping these people, she told me to report the case to police. I know how Ugandan police works, I couldn’t waste my time there.
After a week still, on Wednesday October 28 at 12:37am I again received a message from MTN telling me my account has been blocked again, this irritated me for sure and I got a feeling my money isn’t safe on MTN as these people would perhaps on a 10th try guess my pin code right and fleece me.
I came up with a decision of either withdrawing the money and keep it hard cash or use other mobile banking service providers.
But I couldn’t silently do this, you never know the responsible people (MTN) would do better, otherwise, I’m sure am not the first or last person to do this.
The writer prefers anonymity for some reasons