A Safaricom employee & a JKUAT student allegedly arrested over SIM card swap fraud

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On Friday detectives arrested two people, one reportedly a Safaricom employee and the second said to be a JKUAT university student in connection with the notorious SIM card fraud. TechMoran is following up to proof the identity of the suspects.

However, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) tweted pitures of the seized item, among them 2,160 unused and 44 used Safaricom SIM cards, a Mac laptop, an internet router two mobile phones and three M-Pesa Safaricom booklets.

Two suspects have been identified; Mr Maurice Musoti, is said to be a Safaricom employee, and his alleged accomplice Mr Rian Abaga Nyagaka, a fourth year engineering student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

The arresst come days after the Communication Authority of Kenya warned mobile phone users against disclosing sensitive personal identification information (PIN) to third parties, amid widespread reports of SIM card swap fraud where the fraudster makes a call pretending to be an employee of a mobile network operato then asks the unsuspecting mobile subscriber to share their information such as their national ID number, mobile money PIN, or SIM card PIN, among others.

After obtaining the information, 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.

In a statement, the director of risk management at Safaricom Nicholas Mulila urged customers to call the provider through its customer care lines 100 or 200 for clarification and assistance whenever in doubt of any transaction. “As a precautionary measure against social engineering, enabled by sharing of personal details, we would also like to remind our customers to safeguard information such as SIM and M-Pesa PINs, dates of birth and national ID numbers,” Mr Mulila said.

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It is believed that these criminals collude with insiders within the telco to ask for personal information about subscribers’ accounts before defrauding them and blocking their SIM cards.