How to protect yourself against computer fraud

Cyber insecurity could harm economy — experts

Uganda is not new to crimes related to cyber insecurity, where thieves using technology have breached security codes of particular financial institutions, with intention to defraud them.

In 2012, four Bulgarians, accused of forging automated teller machines (ATM) cards, were convicted in Uganda. The convicts were believed to have forged 36 ATM cards and pin numbers with intent to defraud Stanbic Bank.

The Annual Crime and Road Safety Report, 2013, indicates that a total of 36 cyber-crime cases were reported that year compared to 62 cases in 2012, resulting into a loss of about 18.1 billion shillings.

The crimes included electronic frauds, phishing, email hacking, pornography/defamation, offensive communication, mobile money and ATM/VISA frauds among others, the report says.

On Tuesday, Justice Paul Mugamba, the head of the Anti- Corruption Court, sentenced three former employees of telecom company MTN to 9 years each in prison for stealing sh3.1b – in a case related to cyber-crime.

Yesterday,  Nagenda said: “financial institutions and companies have to be very vigilant regarding these new crimes.”

Stella Alibateese, the director regulation and legal services at the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U), said: “there is a lot of electronic fraud. Thieves are using mobile money as a conduit. And if you send money by Western Union it is very difficult to trace the receiver.”

“People just have to do the due-diligence, and crosscheck every detail, before doing any transactions,” she said. Dr. Nathan Muweeza from Uganda Christian University described email and the use of seductive messages to defraud victims as the commonest form of cyber-crimes committed in Uganda.