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Avoid divulging personal information on phone; CA warns users about SIM swap fraud

Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi has urged Kenyans to avoid giving out information of their mobile money PIN, National ID number, bank account PIN, password and date of birth/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 20 – The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has cautioned members of the public to be vigilant and avoid responding to calls or emails asking for their Personal Identifiable Information.

According to Director General Francis Wangusi, this follows increased cases of theft of personal information through SIM SWAP fraud.

In a statement, Wangusi has urged Kenyans to avoid giving out information of their mobile money PIN, National ID number, bank account PIN, password and date of birth.

“Do not respond to calls or emails unless you are sure of the person whom you are corresponding with. Always verify the authenticity of the person through the official customer care contacts of the service provider,” he stated.

He stressed the need for one to research the facts and be suspicious of any unsolicited or offers for help.

“Be suspicious of any unsolicited messages or requests. If the request looks like it is from a company you used, do your own research. Use as a search engine to go to the real company’s site to find their originals contacts,” he explained.

He said that fraud incidences should be reported immediately to the nearest police station to enable action to be taken.

“Slow down. Fraudsters want you to act first and think later. If the request conveys a sense of urgency or uses high-pressure tactics, be sceptical. Never let their urgency influence your careful view.”

The authority stated that in the case of SIM Card Swap Fraud, a fraudster usually makes a call pretending to be an employee of a mobile network operator.

They then ask the unsuspecting mobile subscriber to share their PII.

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After obtaining the PII, 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.

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