Cyber criminals’ target lost sim- cards to access financial details

NAIROBI, KENYA: You are likely to be conned from mobile money transaction than through ATM card, bank cheque, online banking and online shopping, a new study reveals.

The Kenya Financial Transaction Fraud statistics says 70.6 percent of Kenyans have been victims or know a victim of financial transaction fraud.

One of the most prolific forms of financial service fraud is SIM swap fraud, which over 90 percent of Kenyan banking leaders identify as an issue for their organisations.

How Sim-Swap fraud works

When a customer lets their operator know that their SIM card is damaged, lost or stolen, the current SIM is deactivated and a new one is issued. With SIM swap fraud criminal groups gather personal data and then pose as contract owners to secure a new SIM. Once activated by the fraudster, they are able to access bank accounts and other sensitive data authenticated through the SIM.

According to the study more mobile money users are likely to lose over Sh15,000 to fraudsters compared to bank cheque and online banking fraud at a 23 per cent tie. Losses of Sh15,000 is low on ATM cards at 13 per cent while online shopping at 14 per cent.

“Losses of between Sh5000-Sh15, 000 is also reportedly high when transaction through mobile money compared to the other channels,” indicates the survey.

Experts link the increase in fraud to rapid adoption of technology in Kenya’s financial market

“Financial service transaction fraud in Kenya is costing banks billions and customers their life savings,” says Fabien Delanaud, GM of Myriad Connect. “While financial service transaction fraud is a global issue; Kenya has been a leader in the adoption of mobile and digital payments, which unfortunately brings with it a growing risk of fraud.”

Combating digital transaction fraud demands an omni-channel fraud prevention strategy, says Delanaud, it provides ubiquitous authentication to any mobile device, regardless of data connectivity.

“In the UK, fraud prevention technologies have helped stop 67 per cent of fraud attempts, and with our out of band authentication and SIM swap detection service, we hope to replicate this level of success in Kenya,” says Delanaud.

Myriad Connect is launching into the Kenyan market to help address digital financial transaction fraud with out of band authentication and SIM Swap detection services that secure digital and mobile transactions and protect consumers and financial services providers alike

Myriad Connect’s market-leading authentication service delivers a separate, third party authentication channel on any mobile device. Using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) provides an entirely out of band channel for authentication, with all interactions transmitted over the mobile network, which is separate to the browser or online channel being used by the customer to initiate the transaction. 

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