Sim swapping in Kenya has become a real threat and fears of everyone who has some of their big monies in their banks. Though some have indicated that they remain careful from fraudsters from getting their Sim Cards being swapped, fears have rounded everyone following an increase in sim swapping frauds.
Through Sim Swapping, fraudsters enjoy your hard-earned monies from your different bank accounts through joining mobile banking with the new swapped sims seeming to be the legit owner of the sim card.
In most cases, victims have remained with no knowledge of what has happened in their sim cards only to realize that they have no network. Later, on checking their bank accounts, they find out empty accounts and in most cases with Mobile Loans borrowed using their details.
Following this, Safaricom, the largest telecommunication network provider in Kenya, has come out with a remedy to save most people from losing their money. How then?
Follow me keenly as I guide you in everything you need to know about Sim Swapping and how you can get yourself out of this devastating bait.
What is Sim Swapping?
Sim Swapping is a type of a fraud which can be referred to SIM jacking or SIM hiacking. It is a form of an identity theft whereby the fraudster replaces your line and then registers the line on a new SIM Card using the same details as the previous line.
After registration of the new SIM card, the fraudster can access all the key information sent to your SIM purporting to be the real owner.
The key access every fraudster looks forth to while carrying out SIM swapping include;
- One Time Passwords (OTPs) – To gain access to key areas such as Mobile banking which necessitate use of OTPs before anyone can gain access
- Intercepting Notifications – To avoid you from getting any alert that could raise an alarm that something suspicious is happening
- Changing Security Settings – Fraudsters after SIM swap will change your security settings such as your M-Pesa PIN and many other security settings which give them a walk in the park.
- Online Banking Access – Most people are yet to register their Mobile Banking. Fraudsters after swapping your SIM, can easily register for Mobile Banking to gain access to your bank accounts.
What is Required to do a SIM Swap in Kenya?
SIM Swap in Kenya is mainly done on Safaricom Network especially on M-pesa registered subscribers. To do a swim swap on Safaricom, the following are needed;
- A new Safaricom SIM replacement card
- Active M-Pesa Account
- Mobile Phone Number
- PIN number
A fraudster can use an M-Pesa agent in swapping the SIM in which they can be in possession of an registered M-Pesa agent or alternatively convince someone to register the SIM Card afresh. With this, they will have intercepted all the security measures and notifications that could, otherwise, be sent to your mobile device.
How to Know Your SIM has been Swapped
After SIM swapping, the previous SIM card used loses its mobile network and you cannot operate it regardless of it seeming to have a good network coverage. You cannot get any service even checking balance. If you note this, there is a high possibility of a SIM Swap.
Another instance in which you can easily realize that your SIM has been swapped is whenever you find out that you have been locked out from Mobile Banking apps. This is another key red flag that you are a victim of SIM Swapping.
After you suspect you are a victim of SIM swap, find the possible ways to reach your Bank and network provider to ensure that your funds are safe before you can act on the same.
How to Activate Anti-Swapping for Safaricom Subscribers
With an increase in the frauds related to SIM swapping, Safaricom introduced an Anti-swapping feature where one can disable swapping to be done from any M-Pesa Agent.
With this feature, one will be required to visit a Safaricom Shop rather than previously when one can register the SIM from M-Pesa Agents.
To activate the Anti-SIM Swapping Feature, Dial *100*100# on your phones dialer.
On dialing this code, you will receive a pop-up that your SIM card cannot be swapped from a M-Pesa Agent and you will be needed to go to a Safaricom shop for SIM swapping.