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Safaricom Unveils USSD Code to Counter Sim Card Swapping Fraud

Telecommunications company Safaricom has introduced a code that will prevent fraudsters from swapping subscribers’ sim cards. 

This comes at a time when cases of Sim Swap is on the rise in Kenya with Safaricom being the most affected as fraudsters target M-PESA accounts. 

In a bid to prevent such from happening and aboid loosing clients, Safaricom has come up with a Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code that subscribers can use to whitelist their numbers. 

Feom your phone, dial *100*100# to lock your number from being replaced at an M-PESA agent without your knowledge. 

This means you will have to visit a Safaricom shop in person with by your national identification card or by calling the company’s customer care numbers. 

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa PHOTO/COURTESY

As earlier reported, a Kenyan man has disclosed how he lost more than KSh 2.6 million after fraudsters hacked into his accounts and wiped them clean.  

He said, according to a story carried in Nation, the funds which were stored in four different Absa Bank accounts were withdrawn in several transactions between February 7 and February 9. 

The man said he realized that he could not access M-PESA services when he tried to buy airtime to make a call. 

He immediately contacted Safaricom where he was attended to by an agent who asked for his ID details and phone numbers among other personal information.  

As he waited for help from the telecommunications company, he decided to check his bank balance but when he tried to access his account via the Absa app, the system rejected his fingerprints. 

He managed to access his account via the internet using his laptop and shock to him, KSh 150,000 had been withdrawn from the account that held KSh 335,000.  

A further KSh 150,000 was withdrawn moments before messaging Absa and changing his password.

However, that did not help and the hackers withdrew the remaining KSh 34,000. 

The hackers also accessed his dollar account which had US$17,451 a few minutes after midnight. 

READ ALSO: Safaricom to Hide Subscribers’ Identities While Using Lipa Na M-PESA

The fraudsters withdrew US$936 then US$4,680, US$3,650, US$4,680, US$936, US$1,872, US$561, US$121, US$9.36 and US$4.68.  

The hackers also accessed his Sterling Pound account and withdrew UK£225.

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