How criminals are using COVID-19 pandemic to scam you, DCI warns

By Fay Ngina | Thursday, Apr 16th 2020 at 12:32
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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Wednesday warned Kenyans against criminal taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to scam them. 

DCI revealed that the criminals are scamming Kenyans through phishing emails to sell non-existent messages and offering free goodies.

The free goodies include mobile data and airtime, especially now that people are required to work from home to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

“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 & messages that are accompanied by links that purport to offer free goodies like data bundles, money, airtime among other things,” warned the DCI.

The DCI posted an example of how Kenyans are being conned by the criminals by saying that the government is giving out 200GB to all citizens.

According to DCI, once you click the link, it’s easy for the criminals to access your personal data, including passwords, photos, and other valuables that may be used to extort and steal money.

“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 cyber bullying, stealing of finances among other ills,” added the DCI.

Kenyans were also warned against using free Wi-Fi and sharing their personal and financial information online.

Since there’s a high demand for things such as hand sanitizers and PPE masks due to the pandemic, Kenyans were warned against purchasing substandard items using online services.

For those using door delivery services, DCI warns that some of the people doing the delivery might be criminals and might use sleep inducers to steal from Kenyans.

“For door step deliveries, we warn that some may be done by criminals, who deliver products that are treated with sleep inducers &/or drugs meant to stupefy, after which victims may lose their valuables,” concluded the DCI.

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