NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – The Directorate of Investigations (DCI) has urged the public to take precautionary measures while shopping online to avoid being conned.
Through its twitter account, the investigating body drew attention to the various websites and mobile applications purporting to be offering services at a fee.
“The criminals behind these applications through online shopping entice unsuspecting buyers through deals via email, SMS, social media pages or telephone,” the DCI stated.
The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA)had earlier drawn attention to the scam and the DCI pointed out that fraudsters were impersonating websites and mobile applications of banks, insurance, government agencies, among others.
“They are also making use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to perpetrate their fraudulent schemes.”
The CA advisory through the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre raised a red flag on online shopping fraud urging shoppers to verify the authenticity of online trading platforms through family, friends and reputable organizations before engaging with them.
“Desist from sending money to mobile numbers belonging to individuals,” the statement warned.
The statement indicated identifying markers which include unavailable registered physical addresses and contacts, unavailable customer care helplines and suspicious looking telephone numbers, email address and websites.
Kenyans were also advised to “avoid installing internet applications with questionable sources and carry out checks on the respective online stores and mobile applications by reading online reviews or other third-party comments on the stores and applications.”
In addition, disclosure of personal details such as bank account details, ATM Pins, usernames, passwords to third parties was strongly advised against.