Fraudsters have now invented new techniques where they use Paybill numbers and bank accounts to scam Kenyans online.
A recent incident detailed a middle-aged man, identified as Dr Ian Chessa who is reported to have lost Sh51,000 in exchange of a washing machine that had been advertised on an online marketing platform, Pigiame which was to be delivered to his place in Nyayo Estate, Embakasi.
The scammer who identified himself as John Maingi had advertised for the machine and after communication with Dr Chessa, the agreement was that he would deliver it at his place the following day.
Maingi went on ahead and provided a paybill number which the buyer transferred the funds through M-Pesa.
The doctor realized he had been defrauded after Maingi failed to make the delivery nor contacted him. He thus proceeded to report the matter at Embakasi Police Station.
According to a local blog, Detective corporal Lucy Nduati of Embakasi DCI offices established that the paybill number used by the Fraudster was attached to the NCBA bank limited hence an existing user of the account.
Further, Corporal Nduati sought orders to have access to the fraudster’s NCBA accounts with the intent to get the particulars of the owner.
“The said Airtel subscriber number is suspected to be a fraudulent line and there could be transfers of cash monies received to other subscriber numbers or bank accounts,” Corporal Nduati stated in an affidavit filed at the Makadara Law Courts.
The orders were granted by Senior Resident Magistrate Lewis Gatheru where NCBA and Airtel were directed to provide the corporal with all the relevant particulars needed for the case including date and time the mobile banking was made, details of the mobile subscriber numbers registered at the bank and statement of the said bank accounts between May 1 and 31.
This comes at a time when the world is battling a global pandemic with experts warning of a surge in cybercrimes.
In a detailed tweet about two months ago, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) warned of criminals taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to scam unsuspecting Kenyans.
In a series of tweets, the DCI noted that there is a new crop of fraudsters selling non-existent products by circulating phishing emails.
Members of the public are hereby WARNED that criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam them through circulation of phishing emails purpoting to sell non-existent items & messages that are accompanied by links that purport to offer free goodies like…/1 pic.twitter.com/fD4FkH0ZZw
— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) April 15, 2020
The links, said the DCI are infected with malware that gives the scammers access to one’s personal details, passwords, that could be used to “to extort, for cyberbullying, stealing of finances among other ills.”