Kenya, Nigeria lead as Africa records an average mobile fraud rate of 16.4% in 2021 

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The most common mobile fraud type in Nigeria for 2021 was bypass fraud, which accounted for 82.1 per cent of the mobile fraud cases…

Innovations are changing the narratives for payment structures. Naturally, this convenience comes with an increased danger of payment fraud. Each new payment method brings with it its own set of risks.

In its most recent carrier calling fraud report, mobile anti-fraud specialist Evina examined the prevalence and evolution of this threat in 2021, with a focus on the African continent and the Middle East.

Details from the reports for 2021 indicated that mobile fraud is commonly prevalent in these regions during the first few months of the year. This is probably a result of the festive season, with close to a half decline witnessed in the preceding months. 

The reported figures indicated that fraud in the Middle East was approximately 30 per cent during the first month of January 2021, with these figures dropping to around 12 per cent in the preceding months of the first quarter. 

Kenya, Nigeria lead as Africa records an average mobile fraud rate of 16.4% in 2021. 

Although these figures show a consistent double-digit fraud rate, they reached a new high in September 2021, with an approximate 28 per cent fraud rate recorded before plummeting until the end of the year.

Africa leads on a 12 months average

Similarly, the fraud rate in Africa for January 2021 was at a high of about 28 per cent, fairly lower than the figures for the Middle East at the start of the year, but for the twelve-month average, the Middle East region did comparably well. 

Kenya, Nigeria lead as Africa records an average mobile fraud rate of 16.4% in 2021. 
Countries with top fraud rates. Image Credit: Evina

The reported figures indicated that Africa held an average fraud figure of 16.4 per cent, which is 0.5 per cent higher than the twelve-month average for the Middle East, which stood at 15.9 per cent. 

Top fraud rates in the Middle East were recorded in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with figures of 24.7 per cent and 23.5 per cent, respectively.

On the other hand, Africa saw significant growth in mobile payment fraud figures thanks to unscrupulous activities emanating from two sub-Saharan countries, Kenya and Nigeria. 

Although Nigeria witnessed a fraud rate figure of 26.5 per cent in 2021, it still faired slightly when compared to Kenya, which had a 35 per cent rate, making it the country with the most prevalent mobile fraud cases in Africa. 

The most common mobile fraud type in Nigeria for 2021 was bypass fraud, which accounted for 82.1 per cent of the mobile fraud cases, with remotely controlled fraud, spoofing, and others accounting for 14.2, 3.6, and 0.1 per cent respectively. 

Kenya, Nigeria lead as Africa records an average mobile fraud rate of 16.4% in 2021. 
Fraud types in Nigeria. Image Credit: Evina

The majority of mobile fraud cases in Kenya (70.7 per cent) are caused by bypass fraud, with spoofing, malicious apps, clickjacking, remotely controlled fraud, and others accounting for the remaining 29.3 per cent.

The reports maintained that the topmost malicious app on the African continent was the PDF reader, which is intended to work in the background and subscribe users to services without authorization. 

The Middle East, on the other hand, is also confronted with malicious apps, but these range from messaging to photo editing apps, to mention a few. 


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