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How Fraudsters Used Man’s ID to Transact Sh2.7 million on Mpesa

A Kenyan man has been left perplexed after he discovered that a Safaricom line registered in his name was being used to make transactions running into millions of shillings.  Anthony Mugo discovered that someone unknown to him has in the past six months transacted about Sh2.7 million using a line registered in his name.

Mugo was seeking a loan at Equity bank, Kilimani, when he was informed that he could not access the loan as he had been listed with the CRB as a defaulter. The shocked Mugo had not applied for any loan.

On enquiry from Transunion Credit Reference Bureau, he was informed that he had defaulted on a Fuliza loan.

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“You are listed because of a loan default with NCBA Bank… For you to be de-listed, you have to make a complete payment plus a Sh2,200 clearance fee. That is 6743+2,200,” the response stated.

“Through which number was the loan taken?” Mr Mugo asked.

On realizing that something was amiss, the CRB agent told Mugo that the loan would be written off, but he still had to pay Sh2,200 to clear his name from the CRB. Mugo declined to pay, opting to visit NCBA Bank at the Junction mall to report the issue.

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Prior to the incident, Mugo had confirmed that any illegitimate lines registered using his ID had been de-linked by dialing Safaricom’s USSD *106# So it was strange that there was still an unknown number operating using his details while the systems clearly showed that there was only one line registered in his name.

Safaricom sent him a series of messages between April 26 and May 8, claiming that his query would be resolved in a maximum of 72 hours.

“Dear esteemed customer, your query has been logged on (Mugo’s phone number) under ticket 1-5ZD5QNY9 and will be resolved in 72 hours,” One of the messages said.

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Even after receiving subsequent messages from Safaricom, Mugo waited for more than 2 weeks without a resolve, and finally decided to visit the Safaricom offices.

It was then that he discovered that besides the Sh6,743 loan, the line had been used to transact a total of Sh2,726,667 over the past six months. The line had completed 19 transactions between January 9 and April 5.

The fraudster had really traded a total of Sh2,726,667 during the previous six months, in addition to the Sh6,743 loan. Between January 9 and April 5, more than 19 transactions were executed.

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Eight of the transactions involved Sh395,489 in deposits, which were withdrawn in 11 transactions. On January 18, the suspected fraudster deposited Sh240,430 in four distinct transactions and withdrawn Sh240,374 in four separate transactions.

“I was utterly disappointed!” he said.

Mugo says that Safaricom’s Head of Corporate Communications Wachira Kangaru promised that the issue would be investigated.

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