AUTHORITIES in Ghana are searching for a fake pastor who allegedly defrauded an American woman of $200,000 under the pretext of building a student’s hostel for her at the University of Ghana campus.
The cybercrime unit of the Ghana Police Service is urging the public to help apprehend Kwaku Gyasi Solomon, who also uses the pseudonym ‘Pastor Mike’ or ‘Sabruku’ on social media platforms, according to online media outlet Modern Ghana.
A reward is being offered for information regarding his whereabouts, authorities said.
Solomon reportedly befriended the Columbus, Ohio-based woman through social media platform Facebook.
He is also reported to have defrauded a rural bank manager in Abetifi, a small town in southern Ghana and several people in Accra, Kumasi, Tema, Obuasi, Mpraeso, Obomen and Koforidua.
According to Modern Ghana, Solomon usually poses as a pastor, a businessman and an estate developer.
The lax attitude of Ghanaians towards offering personal information is a major contributing factor to a rise in the breach of privacy in the country, according to Albert Antwi- Boasiako, head of the National Cyber Security Centre.
A report by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre says cybercrimes have mostly taken the form of internet scams targeting gullible foreigners, known locally as sakawa or ‘419’.
These crimes traditionally involve credit card and advanced fee fraud.
Cybercrime has also evolved into considerably more complex and sophisticated enterprises targeting wealthy victims both within and outside Ghana.
A May report by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) said cybercrime was set to cost the global economy $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, industry magazine Cybersecurity Ventures reported.