Fraud on Mobile Financial Markets: Evidence from a Pilot Audit Study

17 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017

Date Written: September 30, 2017


Potential fraud can limit the promise of innovative mobile financial markets like Mobile Money, yet little is known about its existence, especially among the poor. In a randomized control trial across 6 low-income communities in Ghana, I evaluate the extent of fraud — overcharged transactions — on Mobile Money and explore the mechanisms underlying the results. Trained auditors visited vendor points, seeking to make actual Mobile Money transactions: either send or receive cash. Approximately 22% of transactions go fraudulent. Additional experiments indicate that fraud is higher for large amount transactions. Consumers who are financially sophisticated are less likely to suffer fraud, but market competition appears to have no effect on this.

Keywords: Mobile Money; Financial Fraud; Audit Study

JEL Classification: O16; G21; G23; D14; G28

Suggested Citation

Annan, Francis, Fraud on Mobile Financial Markets: Evidence from a Pilot Audit Study (September 30, 2017). NET Institute Working Paper No. 17-16, Available at SSRN: or

Francis Annan (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
United States

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