Safaricom has partnered with six banks to offer an anti-fraud solution called SIM-Swap-Check. The solution provides banks with an API (Application Programming Interface) to query when a customer’s SIM card was last swapped. This information can be used to assess the likelihood of fraudulent transactions and take appropriate measures.
Unsuspecting victims are losing millions to a growing scam involving their cell phone number: SIM swap fraud. SIM swap fraud is a type of identity theft that has become increasingly prevalent in Kenya. It involves criminals taking control of a victim’s phone number. Then, they convince a mobile phone provider to transfer it to a SIM card that they possess.
To carry out a SIM swap attack, a fraudster gathers as much information on the target as possible. This could be through phishing emails, malware, the dark web, or social media browsing. They can then use this SIM card to gain access to the victim’s accounts, receive sensitive information, or perform transactions that require confirmation through SMS.
6 Banks Take Up Safaricom SIM-Swap Check Anti-Fraud Solution
As Kenya’s fintech industry grows, so do the threats to customers and fintech operators. Last year, Nation reported a case of sim card fraud that led to millions lost to fraudsters. A man lost KES 2.6 million to hackers in several transactions, getting Kenyans worried about the safety of their accounts and money.
Safaricom’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa, has highlighted the importance of partnerships between different players to safeguard customers and their funds. He said, “At Safaricom, we have developed SIM-Swap-Check and ATM Vicinity Check solutions that we have made available to banks to empower them to reduce fraudulent transactions.”
The SIM-Swap-Check solution offers a free monthly quota of checks, and additional checks can be made through a premium tier. It was developed based on an analysis of fraud reports to tackle the social engineering tactics that fraudsters use to conduct fraudulent SIM swaps.
In addition to SIM-Swap-Check, Safaricom is also providing banks with an ATM Vicinity Check solution. This solution ensures that an ATM withdrawal can only be conducted if the transacting customer is in the same location as the ATM. It is provided free of charge to banks.