This is how to prevent SIM Card Swap fraud


This is how to prevent SIM Card Swap fraud
Sim card. Photo/ Courtesy

In Summary

  • This comes after a social media user named Sammy (@sammy_ynwa) threaded his experience at the hands of SIM card scam artists on Twitter, leading to public uproar.
  • According to a statement to newsrooms signed by Director General Francis Wangusi, CA describes PII as information that can be used to uniquely identify or authenticate a person.

Following reports of the rampant SIM SWAP fraud, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has come out to advise the public on ways of being vigilant and preventing the crime.

This comes after a social media user named Sammy (@sammy_ynwa) threaded his experience at the hands of SIM card scam artistes on Twitter, leading to public uproar.

According to a statement to newsrooms signed by Director General Francis Wangusi, CA describes theft of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as information that can be used to uniquely identify or authenticate a person.

“PII refers to any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity such as mobile money PIN, national ID number, bank account PIN, password, date of birth, among others,” reads the statement.

The authority further adds 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.

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.

The CA is, therefore, advising the public to embrace the following preventive measures to avoid falling victims to SIM Card Swap fraud;

  1. Be Cautious: Do not respond to calls or emails asking for PII such as mobile money PIN, national ID number, bank account PIN, password, date of birth, unless you are sure of whom the person you are corresponding with. Always verify the authenticity of the person through the official customer care contacts of the service provider.
  2. Delete any request for financial information or password: If you get asked to respond to a request with personal information, it’s a scam.
  3. Your PIN is your secret: Never divulge any of your PINs to anyone, not even the mobile money service or agent.
  4. 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 skeptical; never let their urgency influence your careful view.
  5. Research the facts: Be suspicious of any unsolicited messages or requests. If the request looks like it is from a company you use, do your own research. Use a search engine to go to the company’s real site, or a phone directory to find their official contacts.
  6. Reject requests for help or offers of help: Legitimate companies and organizations do not contact you to provide help. If you did not specifically request assistance from the sender, consider any offer to ‘help’ a scam.
  7. Report Fraud Cases: Immediately report any such incidences to the Service Provider, the nearest Police Station, and to the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Center (National KE-CIRT/CC.)

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Story By Ian Omondi
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