Leading telecommunications service provider Safaricom has launched a new security service that is aimed at curbing mobile phone registration fraud. The new service will see Safaricom alert you via SMS whenever someone tries to register a new sim card using your identity card.
Safaricom will send you an SMS alert from 707 asking you to verify if you are the one making the registration. You will then be required to reply with either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
Currently, the law requires telecoms firms (or their appointed agents) to register SIM card owners after noting down their full name, identity card number, date of birth, gender, physical and postal address.
However, the advent of technology has also seen fraudsters come up with different methods, including stolen or forged national identity cards, to register different accounts and use the same to steal funds from other people’s mobile accounts.
Besides, conmen have called customers to inform them that they have won some money in a competition and through a series of instructions shepherded unsuspecting users to the point of sending money to the fraudsters as a prerequisite to accessing their winnings.
Fraudsters have also got some customers to reveal their year of birth (which is often but insecurely used as PIN numbers), ID numbers and a few recent transactions and used the information to draw funds from their mobile money accounts.
Safaricom fraud reporting number
In most cases, says Safaricom in a statement, fraudsters use a variety of techniques to try and steal personal identity information like you ID number, or M-PESA PIN, which might lead to loss of money. The most common is social engineering which is aimed at causing the target to inadvertently reveal their private information.
“Fraud texts or calls will usually ask you to do something – like call back a certain number, share your ID number, urgently remind you to send money to a certain number, or send money for an ‘emergency’. Often, the request will require you to respond immediately,” says Safaricom. You will do well to forward such fraudulent messages to the Safaricom fraud reporting number 333 free of charge. “The golden rule is to not dial codes or undertake instructions on your handset that you did not request for assistance from Safaricom Customer Care.”