If you have never experienced a SIM swap scam, you are one of the lucky. Fraudsters have recently come up with this new scam. The potential victim receives a call allegedly from their service provider’s customer service, claiming that their SIM card has been damaged, upon which they ask for personal information in order to ‘restore’ it. This kind of fraud is difficult to spot and even more difficult to come back from as the fraudsters gain access and control of everything linked to the victim’s card, which in modern times is mobile money passwords, social media, internet banking, credit card and banking information among many others.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has issued a vehement warning on the resurgence of a scam.

They have urged citizens to be vigilant about all calls allegedly from their service provider, and in particular, those that ask for Personal Identification Information(PII) such as PIN numbers.

CA has issued a seven-step guideline on how to avoid this scam.

1. Be cautious; don’t respond to calls asking for PII
2. Delete any request for financial information or passwords
3. Your PIN, your secret; do not divulge it to anyone
4. Slow down and think it through any potential actions you make. An extra second of thought could save you a lot of damage.
5. Research the facts, be suspicious of all unsolicited requests from any company you use
6. Reject unsolicited requests or offers for help as companies typically don’t call you to provide help unless specifically requested by the customer.
7. Report fraud cases immediately to the nearest police station

CA director-general Francis Wangusi said the agency, through the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre, has received reports involving theft of personal identification information through social engineering leading to SIM swap fraud. He also indicated that postpaid customers face higher losses than their prepaid counterparts because their billing is usually at the end of the month

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