Opinion

ICT Expert Proffers Solution to Internet Fraud

. . . Unveils Cybercrime Detecting APP

By Abuchi Onwumelu

An Anambra born Information Communication Technology expert, Mr Emmanuel Nonso Okoye, has unveiled an application capable of detecting and curbing cybercrime.

Unveiling the APP in Awka, Mr. Okoye explained that the APP could be downloaded in Google Play Store, noting that it would help in reducing internet fraud to the barest minimum.
‘Fraud in the Social Media Market Place is one of the major challenges of the 21st Century technological advancement. There is no day that passes that someone is not defrauded online.

‘The trend becomes more worrisome with the advent of e-commerce which simply means the use of internet for sales of products and services. When the seller is genuine, the buyer may be fraudulent and when the buyer may be genuine, the seller may not be. This ugly development puts the genuine sellers at the risk of losing their market place as a result of lack of confidence in the market by clients,’ he said.

In response to these challenges and the relentless inundation from Nigerians on him as a Certified Ethical Hacker, to salvage the very bad condition the people had found themselves in, the Anambra-Born ICT Expert/Software programmer, Chinonso Okoye, had set out since November last year, to develop an application called “The Middle”.

He said it was a product of seven months of hard work and modifications, noting that the APP which was open, free of charge to all users to download on Play Store or Google Play, was hoisted on a virtual paid-for server and was not hackable.

Mr Okoye said as the name implied, the APP served as a middle man that ensured that a certain level of decency and honesty was maintained in the online business by checkmating excesses by both buyers and sellers.

Okoye, with a vast expertise in ICT, including Software Development, ICT Consultancy, Programming, Networking, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, is popularly known as Gentzycode.

He explained, ‘When a buyer sees a product online and is interested, he contacts the seller who in-turn raises an invoice on the APP (the middle) and sends to the client.

‘The client receives the invoice and pays for the product. Immediately payment is made on the APP, the seller receives an alert but can’t withdraw the money. Once the buyer receives the goods and certifies that they are what he paid for, he goes to the app and clicks that he approved payment so the seller can withdraw the money.’

‘On the other hand, the APP contains what we call “Resolution Module” to address the challenge where the buyer may receive the products and they meet his spec, yet he claims he didn’t receive them or that they do not measure up to what he saw online. In that case, he needs to ship it back to the seller and get back his money since the seller does not actually have the money.

‘There are other mechanisms and rules of engagement for the easy running of the process, one of which includes getting evidence that the products have been shipped to the buyer,’ he stated.

Speaking further on how the APP works, the internet guru said if the buyer did not click to approve payment, after 24hours from the day the product ought to have reached him, he would get SMS and email alerts for three days, to approve payment if he had gotten the products and If he did not click, it would be assumed that he had gotten the products and certified that they were fine, so the buyer could then withdraw the money.

Mr Okoye emphasized that the way he designed this app, he wanted it to be free of charge.
‘It’s already on a server connected with Paystack so the only fees the user pays is the Paystack fees which they collect when you are transferring money from one bank to another.
‘There is another feature on the APP where we are partnering with so many banks and supermarkets to make them agents since the APP is free. Let’s say that you want to transfer #1000 to somebody who is stranded somewhere and you can’t go to the bank. All you need do is generate a code for #1000 and send to the stranded person who has the APP already installed on his phone.

‘From the receiver’s phone, he can look for agents or users of the application who has cash in the locality. Once you show the code to the agent or user, they will give you the #1000 cash and take the code.

‘The agent who receives the code can send the money to any of his bank accounts, using any payment method be it in Bitcoin, dollars, pounds etc. It is imperative to state however that you can’t generate a code if you are not an agent with an e-wallet with the app,’ he said.

The Software developer revealed that they were already discussing with three commercial banks on the project but that what was hindering the partnership was the commercialization of the APP which did not conform to the original intent for the initiative.

‘The social media market place is not being monitored at all, hence the massive theft and fraud going on there. Even the Cyber Crime Act of 2015 does not cover this aspect because the internet is a place of its own.

‘Even if tomorrow, government says they are taking over this app, what we are doing is to give them, the banks and other regulatory bodies an initiative to stop this cankerworm,’ he concluded.

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