Exposé reveals how fraudsters secretly transfer money from Kenyan bank accounts

The gang steals from Kenyans without requiring their ATM PIN numbers.

A file image of a person using an ATM card

An exposé by Africa Uncensored has revealed how unsuspecting Kenyans lose money through ATM fraud.

In the investigative feature by Raquel Muigai, a witness explained how he was almost recruited into ATM fraud by one of his friends Frank Obegi who was murdered earlier this year.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that Obegi was among a group that scammed people online through cryptocurrency and ATM fraud and that he might have been killed after a deal went wrong.

Frank Obegi asked me to bring him ATM cards and he would show me how to make money. I later realised that he had recruited some childhood friends I had in 2014,” he said.

The witness was later informed by one of his friends that the scam involved collecting details on ATM cards and linking them to PayPal, after which they would withdraw money from their victims' bank accounts.

They told me they take a photo of the ATM card and link the details to PayPal. That way they can transfer any amount from the bank to the linked PayPal and then withdraw it,” the witness spoke.

This way, they would steal from Kenyans without requiring their PIN numbers.

Other times ATM fraud happens when bank account holders enter their card details during online transactions and the details are captured by scammers.

I don’t know where they got the cards from. Probably in the nightclubs, they used to frequent or even bank employees,” Obegi’s friend said.

There are about 6 million ATM transactions monthly according to the Central Bank of Kenya.

Cyber security expert Dr Bright Gameli said in the exposé that there are scammers who buy ATM card information from hackers from as low as Sh12,000 for 10,000 cards.

According to a 2021 digital fraud report by credit reporting agency TransUnion, Kenyan banks are losing over Sh14 billion every year to fraudsters through identity theft.

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