Six banks have signed up for the SIM-Swap-Check Anti-Fraud solution from Safaricom that provides banks with an Application Programming Interface (API), which checks when a customer’s SIM card was last swapped. This information allows the bank to make a decision on the possibility that a customer’s transaction could be fraudulent. The banks can then take extra steps to protect the consumer.
This will reduce thieves registering your phone number to create a new line. Swapping your SIM card enables them to read notifications, intercept passwords, access mobile and online banking profiles, and change account security settings.
Scammers can take advantage of a weakness in two-factor authentication and use your phone number to access your accounts. They also call the service provider, claiming to be you, and have lost their line. Armed with every information they can gather about you, they can successfully clone your SIM card. With the new SIM, all notifications and messages are rerouted to the newly cloned SIM card. With the Safaricom SIM-swap check, banks can now take further steps to confirm if the customer is legit.
Safaricom came up with this solution after research. The company analysed fraud reports and developed the SIM-Swap-Check Anti-fraud solution to tackle how scammers conducted fraudulent SIM Swaps.
There will be a free monthly quota of checks for the banks using the SIM-Swap Check solution. There will also be a premier tier for additional checks above the free quota.
In addition, Safaricom is providing banks with an ATM Vicinity Check solution at no cost. The ATM Vicinity Check solution will help banks to ensure that ATM withdrawals can only happen if the customer is in the same location as the ATM.
The ATM vicinity check will also reduce instances of theft from ATM withdrawals. A SIM far from the ATM can now be flagged, and perpetrators stopped.
Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa said that the rapid growth of Kenya’s fintech sector was accompanied by a rapidly evolving threat environment targeting both customers and fintech operators. It was therefore important for different players to partner with and create innovations to safeguard customers and their funds. Safaricom developed SIM-Swap-Check and ATM Vicinity Check solutions to empower banks to reduce fraudulent transactions
Read Also: Safaricom Has Given Some Tips On How To Avoid Being Conned By Fraudsters
What can consumers do to protect themselves?
Avoid putting too much information on social media. This is where most scammers gather data about you or your family. Many banks use information about your last purchases to confirm the client’s authenticity. You can also use pseudonyms to protect yourself. Never post names of relatives or pets online to prevent anyone from mining the information.
The other important thing to do is to ensure that your sim card swap can only be done by you in person. Here is how to block Safaricom SIM Swaps.
- Dial *100*100#. This can only be done from your own line, not from somebody else’s line.
- You can decide to leave the option to swap at agents open. You can then call when you receive an SMS of an attempted SIM Swap.
- If you choose to whitelist and this means that your number can only be replaced by visiting the nearest Safaricom Shop or Care Sesk with your ID or calling Safaricom Customer Care.
- This service works for both Post Pay and Pre-pay customers.
It’s almost impossible to tell a SIM swap before or after it happens. You only notice after you can no longer call or receive texts. If you suspect you have been the victim of a SIM swap, contact your banks immediately and your network provider to prevent further access by the scammers.
When you receive calls from people pretending to be Safaricom agents confirming your identity, hang up and report them to the relevant authorities. Safaricom’s line for reporting fraudulent phone numbers is 333. Safaricom only calls clients from its 0722000000 line.
Check out this article for more tips on avoiding scammers – Safaricom Has Given Some Tips On How To Avoid Being Conned By Fraudsters
Also check out
Consumer Education: How To Avoid Being Conned By Fraudsters Both Online And On Mobile
Three Things In Your Home That Could Expose You To Blackmail, Spies And Perverts – Insights From the Kenya Cybersecurity Report 2017