Ksh 400,000 SIM-card swap claim exposes Safaricom yet again

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Telecommunication giant Safaricom is on the spot yet again after a man moved to court seeking over Ksh.400,000 he alleges was stolen from him through SIM-card swap.

Abdi Zeila alleges that on March 28, 2022, SIM-card swap fraud was carried out on his registered line without his consent.

According to him,the perpetrators first withdrew  Ksh.373,000 was withdrawn from his NCBA Bank account, and other amounts drawn from his M-Shwari and KCB loan accounts.

He blames Safaricom for the fraud arguing that for such to happen , someone must have  access to the Safaricom system and the targeted subscriber’s personal data required for purposes of effecting SIM registration.

Even after reporting the incident to Safaricom, Zeila claims, no action was taken.

“Safaricom being the provider of roaming services at the time to my number was aware or ought to have been aware that I could not have been in a position to carry out a SIM-swap as I was out of jurisdiction,” he argues.

He also wants wants the Communication Authority to be found negligent of its regulatory duties by allegedly failing to ensure Safaricom is providing services that are secured from fraudsters.

SIM swap scams occur when a criminal is able to convince a mobile operator to issue them with a replacement SIM card by claiming a false identity and pretending that their mobile phone has been either lost or stolen.

It involves cyber crooks taking control of a victim’s phone number by essentially deactivating their SIM and switching the allocated number to a SIM belonging to one of the criminal gangs.

The criminals then reset passwords on apps, giving them access to their victims’ contacts, banking details, emails and social media accounts.

If the petition is allowed by the court, Mr Zeila will publicise the case to invite persons who have been defrauded through SIM-swap.

It means there will be strength in numbers and consumers could get their money back without lifting a finger.

According to Mr Zeila, Safaricom has published on its website safety tips and policies all which he adhered to but was still exposed to ‘needless and avoidable injuries and losses’.

The victim wants the country’s largest mobile operator to refund him the Sh495,651 which was allegedly stolen from him, and pay him damages for breaches.

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