Smile Identity says cases of identity theft in Africa have increased by 26% since last year

Pan-African provider of identity verification technologies Smile Identity has said that cases of identity theft have increased by 26% since last year. The company further said that there is an increase in biometric theft and more sophisticated spoofing attacks across the continent.

In its inaugural survey on the State of KYC report H1 2022, the company highlighted several ways through which identity theft is executed.

KYC, or Know Your Customer, is a business requirement which helps organizations identify their customers and identify their credentials. KYC procedures allow companies to identify and evaluate risks associated with induvial customers and stop fraud before it happens.

In the report, the renowned tech company said the tools it used to carry out its evaluation are specifically designed for Africa.

Here are areas of concern identified in the report :

  • Fraud attempts increased by 30% in the first half of 2022
  • Half of the biometric fraud cases were related to identity theft, the other half includes more sophisticated spoofing attacks
  • A new type of fraud that is emerging and has already reached ~10% levels is Duplication Fraud
  • Countries with lower adoption of biometric IDs may notice fluctuations in fraud as less modern systems provide more avenues for attack
  • ID database outages have averaged 9% of the time, disrupting the ability to verify people and businesses to scale
  • Fraudsters are more frequently targeting buy now pay later platforms. BNPL and investment & savings experience more than 30% biometric fraud

Navid Scheybani, Chief Growth Officer at Smile Identity said,  “ Businesses across the continent are becoming more aware of their vulnerabilities and turning to partners like us for assistance in preventing and detecting fraud on their platforms.”

“We have seen fraud attempts consistently grow over time, in the last year it has grown to 26% of all KYC checks alone.” he said.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to

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