Kenyans Losing Millions in Sim Swap and Fraud

By Soko Directory Team / July 21, 2018




Kenyans are losing millions of shillings on a daily basis following a string of fraudsters who are swapping their lines and accessing their mobile money platforms.

Sentiments from angry Kenyans who took to online platforms to show their frustrations showed that mobile money operators are doing little to help in shielding their customers from hungry and vicious fraudsters.

Most of those who have raised complain claim to have lost money through M-PESA with the majority of the sentiments showing their futility of having the firm help them. Majority claim that the firm has often been directing them to go to the police, with the police saying that they have no authority to track M-PESA fraudsters.

The complaints have prompted the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to issue a stern warning against disclosure of sensitive personal identification information to third parties.

In a statement on Thursday, Francis Wangusi, CA’s Director General cautioned the public against divulging any information that can be used to distinguish or trace their identity, such as mobile money PIN, national ID number, bank account PIN, password, date of birth, among others.

In the sim card swap fraud, the fraudsters usually make a call pretending to be an employee of a mobile network operator.

When a mobile user picks the call, the fraudster then asks the unsuspecting mobile subscriber to share their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as their national ID number, mobile money PIN, or SIM card PIN, among others.

After obtaining the Personally Identifiable Information, the fraudster then goes ahead to swap the SIM card thereby gaining access to all the SIM services including mobile money transfer, mobile and internet banking, voice calls, SMS, data services and any other service that can be accessed through the SIM.

“Never divulge any of your PINs to anyone, not even the mobile money service provider or agent,” Mr. Wangusi said in a statement.

“Fraudsters want you to act first and think later. If the request conveys a sense of urgency or uses high-pressure tactics be skeptical; never let their urgency influence your careful review,” he added.

The Authority, through the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC) and in line with its mandate of sensitizing and awareness creation on Cybersecurity related matters, advised the public to beware.

As this goes on, the police have arrested a Safaricom staff and a student from JKUAT over the ongoing SIM card fraud.



About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system. Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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