Kenyan Online Scammers Get on FBI's Radar

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    US-based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has placed Kenyan scammers on its radar while warning that cybercrime is rising in the East African country.

    An Interpol report dated August 14, detailed that online organised crime in Kenya and other African states is being motivated by digitisation which makes it easier for criminals to target unsuspecting prey.

    According to the report, Kenya lost over Ksh 21 billion to cybercrimes and online scammers in 2017. 

    FBI added that Kenya is a source of scams and destination of money garnered through cyber fraud. 

    Phones confiscated from street fraudsters in Nairobi in a recent operation
    Phones confiscated from street fraudsters in Nairobi in a recent operation

    In 2019, over 250 Kenyans were arrested by the FBI for allegedly being part of cyber gangs. 

    The gangs operated through wired transfers and gained access to individuals' personal information. 

    The report comes at a time the country is cracking the whip on fraudsters, both online and offline.

    Data by the Communications Authority for the period between January and March shows 34,644,531 cyber threats were detected, a slight decline from the previous quarter, in which 37,133,200 cyber threats had been detected. 

    In the period between July and August 2020, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) made several arrests of imposters and phone scammers. On Saturday, August 15, DCI arrested a suspect in a syndicate running a scam operation through various mediums including WhatsApp.

    On Tuesday, August 4. DCI detectives in collaboration with multi-agency teams arrested seven suspected fraudsters along Ronald Ngala Street within Nairobi's Central Business District running a syndicate targeting unsuspecting buyers.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, August 13, narrowed down on Kamiti Prison phone scammers. Speaking at the 44th Prisons Pass-out Parade at Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, the head of state noted that the correctional facilities had acquired equipment to nab the perpetrators.

    He stated that a number of prisons in the country had enhanced surveillance systems on the inmates with signal jammers and CCTV cameras to monitor their activities.

    A man working using a laptop. Following the Covid-19 outbreak, working from home is the new normal
    An individual using a laptop
    criminal arrest suspect scam