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Kenyans reported increased cases of vishing attempts in 2022, report


Kenyan consumers were primarily targeted by ‘vishing’ attempts, in 2022 where they received fraudulent phone calls from scammers trying to get them to reveal personal information. This is according to new data published by TransUnion in its 2023 State of Omnichannel Fraud Report. 

Vishing has become more prevalent than ‘smishing’ – where fraudulent text messages attempt to trick people into revealing data – with 41% of targeted Kenyans having experienced this type of attempt. ‘Phishing’, where fraudulent emails, websites, and social posts intent on stealing data, was experienced by 36% of surveyed Kenyans.

At the same time, the top types of digital fraud which Kenyan consumers were most worried about differed from the attempts reported, as the biggest Kenyan consumer concerns were phishing (59%), account takeovers and identity theft (both 58%) and third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites (57%).

Data in the 2023 State of Omnichannel Fraud Report blends proprietary insights from TransUnion’s global intelligence network and a specially commissioned TransUnion consumer survey in 18 countries and regions globally. 

The study showed that globally, 4.6% of all digital transactions were suspected to be fraudulent. This percentage is in line with the rates found in 2019. However, despite the similarities to the percentage prior to the pandemic, due to the marked rise in number of digital transactions in the last few years, the total volume of all suspected digital fraud attempts has increased dramatically. Globally, such attempts have increased by 80% from 2019 to 2022.

Morris Maina, chief executive officer, TransUnion Kenya, said: “We’re seeing a persistently high number of digital fraud attempts, with suspected digital fraud attempts originating from Kenya increasing most notably in the financial services sector, where the rate of attempts has increased by 309% since 2019. This reflects the overall accelerated adoption of digital technologies and rising online transactions as a result. ”

“Kenyan businesses need to take proactive steps to protect themselves and their customers. This means ensuring that identity proofing and authentication is up-to-date and as robust as possible,”  he added.

The report is available for download here.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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