By Lydia Richins, Marketing —
Travel much? Here’s the good news: embassies are more likely to trust that you won’t overstay your visit -this means you are more likely to be granted a visa. Here’s the bad news: this makes you an attractive target to fraudsters -and fraud is becoming more and more common in the African country of Ghana.
Increasing Fraud in Africa
In 2016 the country’s Fraud Expertise Center was sent 274 cases, of these 46% were found to be fake. Although false, these documents don’t come cheap to Ghanaian citizens. Officials have reported cases of people who paid over $30,000 (or even sold their homes). Why? The number of citizens trying to move abroad is growing. On top of this, fraud penalty laws are much more mild than the nearby West African countries. This combination is creating a lucrative illegal business that reaches even the government. Early last year three Ghanaian members are parliament were accused by the British High Commissioner of using their diplomatic passports to aid in visa fraud.
Cash for Passports?
Seth Sewornu, the former head of the visa fraud unit tells of a time when he was offered cash for their passport. Even though he was a police officer at the time, one of his own relatives approached him and explained that a similar-looking stranger was willing to pay him $1,300 to use his passport. The stranger would use the passport to enter the UK and send it back to Ghana once he had arrived. Sewornu declined. However, Sewornu’s story was just one of many that took place as identity theft took rise in Ghana.
Stories like this illustrate why we need better ways to catch identity thieves, and technology like IdentityDetect could be the answer. IdentityDetect is a 1 to 3 minute web-based test that catches imposters 9 out of 10 times. Simple, cost-effective, and accurate. Implementing this program would keep you and I safe from identity theft – no matter if that imposter lives in California or Africa.