Kenyans warned over rise of online shopping fraud

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The Kenya Communications Authority (CA) earlier this week cautioned Kenyans to take precautions when shopping online. The authority said fraudsters have taken to creating look-a-like e-commerce websites and mobile applications for the purpose of stealing from unsuspecting buyers by luring them with non-existent deals. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram among others are some of the sites named by CA that are being used to perpetrate fraudulent schemes.

The statement read, “The online shopping criminals entice unsuspecting buyers through deals via email, SMS, social media pages and telephone. They also request a registration fee for goods or services. Watch out for unavailable physical addresses, customer care helplines, suspicious telephone numbers, email addresses, and websites.”

Kenyans are advised to take precautionary measures by verifying information about online shops before making any payments and verifying information about online stores by checking online reviews and third party comments. The authority also asked Kenyans to desist from sending money to unverified phone numbers posing as sales reps of e-commerce sites. CA has also cautioned online buyers against revealing personal information such as passwords, usernames and ATM PIN to third parties.

CA also urges online shoppers to report all suspicious websites and applications to relevant authorities. Victims can get in touch with the authority via email [email protected] or through telephone hotlines 0703042700, 0730172700.