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How Hackers Are Milking Billions From Kenyans’ Bank Accounts

[IMAGE/ COURTESY]

[IMAGE/ COURTESY]
Cases of bank fraud have been on the rise in the recent days, with people losing as little as Ksh10 to millions from their bank account and mobile money accounts.

The police have unearthed a syndicate group of 130 individuals that are wanted in connection to loss of billions in the scandal. Some of those in the wanted list include former and current bank employees and IT experts.

It is suspected that the 130, plus others not mentioned raked in billions from unsuspecting Kenyans’ accounts transferring the moneies to stand-by accounts and then withdrawing through others.

In 2017 alone, Kenyans lost over Ksh21 billion o the fraudsters, while in 2015 and 2016 Kenyans lost Ksh14 billion and Ksh17 billion respectively.

Their network is so well connected that sometimes they use shared passwords from bank employees while at other times they utilise malware softwares.

By using shared passwords, it is suspected that the fraudsters use the recently launched Pesalink for inter-bank money transfers before withdrawing the monies through third party accounts.

Read: Court Directs Suspended Procurement And Finance Officers Proceed For Compulsory Leave

The fraudsters, after making their way to the banking system, make vrtual deposits or transfer money from ‘dormant’ accounts to their accounts.

Alternatively, the fraudsters deduct very small amounts from thousands of regular accounts. The amount could be as little as Ksh10, 20 or 100. When all is put together, it amounts to millions.

It is reported that in the first week of January, a hacker made into the inter-bank money transfer system and made away with Ksh6.9 million.

By using malware softwares, hackers  send owners of ‘loaded’ accounts emails or messages with a link. The link contains a malware that would harvest all your security data, giving hackers a leeway to change anything they want.

With such, they can siphon money from any account to their account. The hackers to have different accounts in eight banks, where they use to wire the money.

The hackers’ are so connected that they were able to steal money from a bank that had been placed under receivership.

They are said to have siphoned Ksh12 million from the bank in a Kisii branch, withdrawn over the weekend.

The police recently released photos of the most wanted banking fraudsters.

Do you have a story you want told? Do you know of a sensitive story you would like us to get our hands on? Email your news TIPS to news@kahawatungu.com Also WhatsApp 0708677607 with your news tips

Francis Muli

Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. He believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye. He has also carved himself a niche in writing business stories. He has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service, Business Today among others. Follow him on Twitter @FmuliKE.

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