SIM swap frauds are pretty common in Kenya but Safaricom has been stepping up its game to tackle the menace.

The company has in the past rolled out several measures to handle SIM swap frauds. These include an embargo on performing mobile transactions after a SIM swap and rolled out a voice-only biometric system to verify the owner before a swap is performed. Safaricom even said its exploring adoption of a finger and facial recognition system, but we haven’t seen a feature in that direction launched yet.

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Recently, the company rolled out a new feature dubbed #Tuwaanike which notifies you when someone tries to register a SIM card using your ID number.

How it Works

When someone tries to register a new SIM card using your ID number, you will receive an SMS alert message from the telco via 707.

The SMS alert reads; “Dear customer a new mobile number is about to be under your ID number. Please reply with a YES to continue or NO to cancel the registration.”

Then, you have to reply the text with a YES or NO depending on whether you know or don’t know the person trying to register the line with your national ID number.

This additional security feature gives customers more security of their credentials from being used to maybe take some loan from the tons of ever-hungry mobile lending platforms available in the country in dire need of proper regulation policies.

What if Someone Already Uses your National ID without Consent? How Do You know?

If someone used your National ID registering for a SIM card before the change, obviously, you wouldn’t have known. However, thank goodness, you can still ask the telco about all the lines linked to your National ID number and ask them to close the unknowns.

Benefits of the SIM Card Identity Protection Feature

Safaricom says the feature will help customers in the following ways;

  • Avoid identity theft
  • Prevent fraudsters from claiming next of kin funds
  • Avoid being denied access to products like Fuliza
  • Protect your line from being used in illegal cash transfers
  • Avoid fraudsters using your ID to take loans from mobile lenders

Cybersecurity continues to hurt the digital banking revolution with the most notable forms of attack being identity theft and sim swap frauds. SIM swap frauds are not only rampant in Kenya, but is one of the biggest cybersecurity threats in the world.

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