In 2018, unsuspecting members of public including several police officers were fleeced of money by a one Geoffrey Kalele, a resident of Kalitumba, Magada Sub county, Namutumba District when he created and used a Facebook page in the names of the IGP Martin Okoth Ochola, to solicit money from them in the pretense of helping them acquire better offices and promotions.
The head of the Uganda Police Cyber Crimes in the Directorate
of Forensics Services, Jimmy Haguma has warned Ugandans to be alert about the increasing
cases of fraud, arising out of identity thefts.
Haguma told Uganda Radio Network that several Ugandans have been
defrauded through fake social media accounts, cautioning that the users should be careful before they decide on the messages they receive online.
“You have heard of identity thefts? Sometimes people create
accounts that purport to be who you are. Because you do not need money to create
an account. You only need internet and there is no limit on the number of
emails you can have,” says Haguma.
He further warns; “People now create emails out of other people’s
names. You may receive an email from an email in my names and you think its
genuine. Please don’t believe anything online until you validate it and confirm
Haguma was speaking at the sidelines of a workshop organized by the
Makerere University Directorate for information and Communication Technology Support
(DICTS) on Thursday under the theme; “Social
media as an enabler of effective communication, e-learning and cyber-crime.”
In 2018, unsuspecting members of public including several police officers were fleeced of money by a one Geoffrey Kalele, a resident of Kalitumba, Magada
Sub county, Namutumba District when he created and used a Facebook page in the
names of the IGP Martin Okoth Ochola, to solicit money from the public
including members of the Police Force in the pretense of helping them acquire
better offices and promotions.
Electronic Fraud cases are according to the 2018 Uganda Police Annual
Crime report form the largest portion of Cyber crimes. The report shows that the
cyber crimes have been on the rise in the recent past. For instance, the cases increased
from 158 reported in 2017 to 198 reported in 2018, resulting into a loss
of UGX. 610M.
Samuel Paul Mugabi, Director ICT Support (DICTS) says Social media is
viral and immensely powerful with huge numbers of virtual humans hiding in
He argues that the activities of virtual humans in cyber-space have
affected nearly all spheres of life including Social-Media enabled cyber-crime.
A 2018 International Journal of Computer Science and Network
Security, indicates that Identity Spoofing occurs, when criminals create fake
accounts of musicians, politicians, actors etc. to gather sensitive data from
other people or in hopes to tarnishing their image.
The Journal describes Identity theft as an act of logging into
someone else’s account for intentional misuse. The crime, according to research
has become common nowadays with several fake accounts or accounts for
impersonation are made solely for the purpose of fraud.
Research shows that Cybercrime is not limited to a single crime but
rather an array of crimes including hacking, stalking, spoofing, forgery,
Identity Theft and many more.
Mugabi underscores the evolution of social media from a basic chat
tool to a social-economic issue that can no longer be ignored.
“It is important for us to be able to tap into its potential of
enabling effective communication, education, marketing, e-Governance amongst
others whilst minding our personal and institutional online security,” says Mugabi, the
Makerere University Director ICT Support.