The Communications Authority of Kenya has urged Kenyans to be on the lookout for unscrupulous persons sending messages to mobile subscribers purportedly to caution them that they have exceeded the maximum number of SIM cards allowed per subscriber.
The messages are crafted to appear as originating from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the predecessor to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).
CA has urged the public to ignore the messages.
"They do not emanate from CA but from criminals who are out to trick recipients into divulging personal information, inclusing ID card numbers and other important details for fraudulent purposes," said the Authority.
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The Authority has further urged the public to exercise caution and refrain from following the instructions in the messages including clicking on links provided on social media platforms.
The Authority emphasised that mobile operators and their agents are the only entities alloed to register SIM cards.
"As the ICT sector regulatory agency, CA, therefore would have no business seeking personal information from mobile subscribers for purposes of registration," said the Communications Authority of Kenya.
This type of scam is called Smishing; where the fraudster sends SMS texts purporting to originate from a reputable company with the purpose of tricking subscribers into revealing personal information such as ID numbers, usernames, passwords, PINS and credit card details among other personal details. The criminals use the information obtained to defraud the recipient.
Earlier, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had warned Kenyans about the various ways criminals could be using to defraud them. This includes phishing.
This is basically a cybercrime in which a target is contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.
“Members of the public are hereby WARNED that criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam them through circulation of phishing emails purporting to sell non-existent items and messages that are accompanied by links that purport to offer free goodies like data bundles, money, airtime among other things,” says DCI.
Messages accompanying such links are enticingly packaged with captivating words meant to prompt potential but unsuspecting victims to click onto them with a promise of getting something declared therein. Such links have largely been found to be infected with malware that triggers mining of personal information, passwords, photos, contacts among other valuables that are subsequently used to extort, for cyberbullying, stealing of finances among other ills.