Safaricom probes insider fraud claims

Safaricom is investigating complaints from several subscribers that fraudsters attempted to con them of funds from their mobile accounts using the company’s official customer care number.

Subscribers took to social media on Monday with complaints of receiving voice calls through the 0722 000 000 number, with the callers claiming to be customer care agents from Safaricom, and even confirming personal details such as M-Pesa transaction history.

Personal details

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“I got a call from this number 0722 000 000, an outright conman trying to extort info from me about my M-Pesa, Mshwari and KCB M-Pesa. Is it your staff are now calling using that number or who because I think this is your official number?” asked one subscriber identified as Steve Muiruri on Safaricom’s customer care Twitter account.

Another user identified as Njeri Mukuria asked how a caller had access to her personal details, including date of birth, place of residence, the details of the last three M-Pesa transactions, log-in details such as PIN and PUK numbers, as well as information on their mother.

The 0722 000 000 is one of the phone numbers the company uses to communicate officially with subscribers and the case has raised concerns of insider fraud, with Safaricom saying investigations are underway.

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“We are following your issue,” said Safaricom in response to one of the complainants.

“No stone will remain unturned. Let us jealously protect our personal details, if in doubt we are here to confirm. Thanks for keeping us posted, it helps us keep all transactions on our platform safe.”

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The incident has raised concerns over the company’s exposure to fraudsters and the safety of subscribers’ personal data particularly on the successful M-Pesa platform.

Last month, a subscriber filed a class action suit against Safaricom, the Central Bank of Kenya and Communications Authority of Kenya over outages experienced on the M-Pesa network.

Martin Muiruri claimed Safaricom failed on several occasions to maintain full uptime on its M-Pesa network against its licence conditions, and failed to give a satisfactory explanation for the downtime.

This came just months after another lawsuit filed at the High Court against Safaricom by a subscriber who claimed his personal details and those of millions of subscribers had been leaked to a third party. 

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