2 arrested after defrauding Sh716,000 from Kiambu couple

Digital identity theft and sim swap is one of the most prevalent forms of cyberfraud among mobile wallets.

SIM-SWAP1

Two suspects who are accused of defrauding a Kiambu couple over Sh716,000 in a Sim swap scam in June 2021 have been arrested.

The two; Sabina Evelyne Nyanumba who is a student at Egerton University and 19-year-old Paul Nyabero Kilenya were arrested in Nakuru's Njoro sub-county over the weekend.

Their pursuit and subsequent arrest followed the June incident where a woman received a call from a new number, and was made to believe that she was being engaged by a Safaricom customer care operator.

In the course of the conversation, the woman disclosed her personal information, which the fraudsters used to swindle Sh296,652 from her mobile money and bank accounts.

The suspects furthered their felonious agenda to the woman's husband from whom they withdrew a total of Sh420,570.

Forensic data analysis by Kiambu-based Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau detectives working jointly with DCI liaison officers at Safaricom headquarters led detectives to the two suspects, from whom the mobile handset used in defrauding the victims was also recovered.

How to Avoid Sim Swap Fraud

SIM swapping occurs when someone contacts your wireless carrier and is able to convince the call center employee that they are, in fact, you, using your personal data.

This is often done using the information you share either through a fraudster calling or on social networks. The fraudsters trick the call center employees into switching the SIM card linked to your phone number and replace it with the fraudsters SIM card.

Once your phone number is assigned to a new card, all of your incoming calls and text messages will be routed to whatever phone the new SIM card is in.

This means they have access to receive your One Time Passwords from banks and thereby bypassing any two step verification process.

They are also able to change and reset passwords to your mobile money of bank accounts.

Digital identity theft and sim swap is one of the most prevalent forms of cyberfraud among mobile wallets.

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