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The Cyber Fraud Menace

By Daily Graphic

The rate at which cyber crimes have risen in the country is very alarming, to say the least. Even people like me (who do not really read or listen to the news devoutly) can't simply ignore sensational stories surrounding this “modern” crime.

Cyber crime generally refers to the use of the Internet to deceive and defraud people. This article is not concerned with the spiritual elements allegedly being employed (there are many articles on that already) but seeks to suggest certain social values we as individuals can inculcate and practise to prevent ourselves and our loved ones from being lured into it.

It is disappointing that Ghana is now being rated among nations where the crime is prevalent. Even more disappointing is the fact that most perpetrators are the youth, the future leaders of this country. What are we, as a people, doing about this social canker?

How do we eradicate cyber fraud from our society? How do we keep ourselves from resorting to criminal activities in order to live the “good” life that we need to?

The importance of the Internet is all too obvious. It has contributed vastly to the globalisation of the world. In addition to making communication and access to information very easy, its huge benefits to education and entertainment are plain.

However, like every other invention by man, it can be misused and abused, to the detriment of the inventor. This is exactly what has happened in the use of the Internet.

Cyber fraud has the potential of hindering the economic and social development of any nation. This is because among other dire consequences, foreign investment is seriously discouraged.

Cyber fraud can also destroy our good and morally sound culture. This is because the youth will no longer work but resort to that means to earn their living.

It is a pity that instead of condemning it outright, people justify cyber crime and put all the blame on the high unemployment levels in the nation. Instead of just shaking our heads in righteous indignation at the sensational 'sakawa' stories being reported almost daily, let's all, as citizens, do what we can to curb cyber crime before it grows into a menace.

One thing each and every Ghanaian can do is to be content and to talk to others about the need for contentment. This 'contentment sensitisation' will be very effective in reducing, if not altogether eliminating, cyber fraud and other crimes in general.

Let's not misinterpret contentment for mediocrity.

Mediocrity is the passive acceptance of one's pitiful condition which tends to make one complacent.

However, contentment is the exact opposite because it has the positive effect of making one joyful and appreciative in one's present situation, while at the same time giving one hope and motivation to attain greater heights.

Hard work as a virtue should also be upheld. Ghanaians are generally very hardworking and we should not give up that virtue.

Hard work does not mean suffering or being workaholic but entails giving of one's very best in the legal and productive venture one is involved in.

As individuals, we should imbibe and practise these virtues, in addition to others, and this will guarantee our success. This will be very effective in dealing with cyber crime because there will be less reliance on external checks from the police and the government.

In our day-today interactions, let us all discourage one another from embarking on cyber fraud and report perpetrators to the police.

Our success is not only defined by our wealth but by how many lives we impact positively in our lives. Let's promise on our honour to say no to quick money and live productive lives to build our beloved Ghana.