Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) has issued a public warning concerning the SIM swap scammers, instead of instituting measures to cub them.
This comes one day after Kahawa Tungu’s investigative desk put onto spotlight the CID and Safaricom staff for aiding the scammers.
Responding to the expose, CA Director General Francis Wangusi only reiterated what was in the expose without highlighting what the authority has put in place to cub the vice.
“In the case of SIM swap fraud, a fraudster usually makes a call pretending to be an employee of a mobile network operator. The fraudster further 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 PII, the fraudster goes ahead to swap the SIM card thereby gaining access to all the SIM services including mobile money transfer, mobile internet banking, voice calls, SMS, data services and any other service that can be accessed through the SIM,” stated Wangusi.
Interestingly, what Wangusi said was all that Kahawa Tungu had unearthed. He even went ahead to advise members of the public to be cautious, delete any request for financial information or passwords as well as keep their PIN a secret.
What Wangusi forgot is that most SIM cards were swapped without the owners’ consent or knowledge, which we gave examples in the expose. The secret information was revealed by masterminds placed at the operator, most of whom are employees.
Wangusi went ahead to tell the public slow down and research properly. Contrary to his suggestion, the scammers do not need any time. They only need a green light and codes from their masterminds who work for the operators. Instead, Wangusi should go for the scammers, not issue a public precaution, which might not even be accessible to all Kenyans.
Lastly, CA suggests that subscribers should reject requests for help of offers of help and report fraud cases. Again, Kahawa Tungu reported that the scammers belong to a well-knit cartel between the CID, the police, Safaricom staffers and a clique of criminals. Where are the subscribers supposed to report if the police and the CID are involved. We noted that most cases reported just end up in the occurrence book, and nothing happens.
Good news to Kenyans could have been that arrests have been made and the criminals charged, otherwise it might remain to be a PR fabrication to please the public.
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