Audio: How man claiming to be from Safaricom tried to con me
- "Kuna ile green card ya Safaricom tulikupea mara ya mwisho ukichukua card yako ya Safaricom. Uko na hiyo card karibu?" he posed.
- Though I told him that I could not remember any details regarding my SIM card, he was persistent.
- "Iwapo hiyo card ilipotea, ningetaka serial card number ili tuweze kubainisha serial card number yako ni gani. Niambie PIN 1, PIN 2 na serial number," he continued.
On Wednesday at around 11:15am, I received a phone call from a man claiming to be from Safaricom.
Though he referred to me by my two names, I was surprised because he was not using the usual Safaricom customer care number: 0722-000-000.
Also Read: This is how to prevent SIM Card Swap fraud
The number he was calling with was 0741 053600. Ironically, his number was identified as ‘Kenya Safaricom’.
“Naitwa Ephanstus kutoka Safaricom. Napiga kuhusu line yako ya Safaricom….naomba nikuulize maswali kadha kuhusu rekebisho,” he said.
He continued: “Replacement ya mwisho ulifanya ukiwa upande gani?”
When I told him I could not remember, he asked whether I was using my SIM card in Nairobi.
As the conversation went on, he implied that he could see from his ‘system’ that I was indeed in Nairobi.
The next question shook me: he had begun by striking a rapport with me and now was confident enough to ask: “Do you have your ID number?”
Cases of fraudsters trying to use personal information to gain access into M-Pesa or bank accounts are not new.
He was trying to get my details. I gave him a fake ID number to see what he would ask me next.
“Kuna ile green card ya Safaricom tulikupea mara ya mwisho ukichukua card yako ya Safaricom. Uko na hiyo card karibu?” he posed.
Though I told him that I could not remember any details regarding my SIM card, he was persistent.
“Iwapo hiyo card ilipotea, ningetaka serial card number ili tuweze kubainisha serial card number yako ni gani. Niambie PIN 1, PIN 2 na serial number,” he continued.
He finally gave up when he realised no information was forthcoming.
When I tried to call him back, he had blocked the number that on Truecaller was identified as ‘Vincent Plumber’.
A few minutes later, six other colleagues in the office received a phone call from the same man asking them for similar details.
Two other colleagues had been called by the same person the previous day and when they disconnected the call, they received messages from Safaricom that read:
“You have successfully registered firstname.lastname@example.org on 03-09-2019 03:09PM. You will be receiving your MPesa statement by the 5th day of every month.”
When we reached out to Safaricom Customer Care on 100 to report the calls, we were told:
“This is a Fraudster calling customers in sequence. This line 741xxx that they are using was a stolen identity from genuine customer. Action has been taken on the Fraudster line . Working with Law Enforcement to track person begin the fraud.”
“The names are not confidential particularly because of the Hakikisha service but our official number is 0722-000-000 and we don’t call to inquire about such information. Your details are already in the system. Kindly desist from providing personal information to such people and report any suspicious incidents to 333.”
In its 2019 Sustainability Report, Safaricom revealed that 78 members of staff underwent a disciplinary process to deal with issues of corruption including breach of policy, negligence and asset misappropriation. Most of the investigated cases were initiated by tip-offs.
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