Africa’s mobile fraud losses will continue to rise above last year’s $4-billion to peak at a record $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”.

That’s according to Paris-based anti-fraud campaigner David Lotfi, CEO of Evina, who says: “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.”

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. 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,” 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,” 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.