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How to avoid the Sim Swap fraud



By Judith Gicobi 

The exponential rise of Sim swap fraud has sparked public indignation as more people become victims of the scam, which has seen crooks steal from bank accounts.

Subscribers want the three major telcos — Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom — to improve the authentication and security mechanisms that govern mobile phone number registration and replacement.

A Sim swap is when fraudsters replace and take over a customer’s line, according to Safaricom’s official website’s cyber security and impersonation section. It’s one of the crimes classified as identity theft.

The possibilities of what fraudsters can do once they have access to one’s Sim are endless. Digital thieves can effectively register an existing phone number on a new SIM card with the sole intent of intercepting notifications, one-type passwords, online banking profiles and transactions, and modifying account security settings.

To combat this, Safaricom advises that users ensure their Sim card has an active Sim lock, use unique passwords, and avoid sharing personal data online.

Kenyans can also activate anti-swapping by dialing *100*100#. This implies that you cannot swap your SIM card at an M-Pesa agent; instead, you must go to a Safaricom shop and present yourself physically.


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