Nairobians Warned Against Mobile Phone Fraudsters

  • File image of a man using a phone
    File image of a man using a phone
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  • Mobile phone fraudster cases is on the rise in Nairobi, with many losing their money to cons who masquerade as bank or mobile telecommunication agents.

    According to the police, since most people either keep their savings in their mobile phones, or use it in their daily transactions, criminals are trying hard to steal from them.

    The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives who have been tracking down the criminals, on Sunday, March 7, arrested 6 suspects linked to the expansive network. 

    "We arrested one in Embu where the money was withdrawn, he led us to five others at Lumumba Drive in Kasarani where we arrested the rest," said Kasarani Police Commander Muthuri Mwongera.

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    More than 200 sim cards were retrieved in the Mirema area of Roysambu by police from Rongai and Kasarani.

    The 6 were posing as communication agents, manipulating Kenyans to hand them their PIN numbers, which they then use to steal money in their accounts.

    The police named the suspects as; Joan Cheprono 22, Robert Ng'etich 23, Josphat Cheruiyot 27, Ronald Kipng'etich 20, and Cynthia Kipkirui 21.

    Police from Ongata Rongai and Kasarani revealed that they trailed phone numbers used by the suspects in the con activities to the area, and arrested them.

    Muthuri has asked Kenyans who may have lost money to the fraudsters to volunteer as witnesses to help nail the suspects.

    In a con incident in October 2020, a family lost millions of money to a con who posed as a money printer in the country.

    While speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, the son of the victim who fell for the scam, Mureithi Muraya, said that his father was approached by six people, who claimed to have a direct connection to authorized money printers in the country. Mureithi’s father met the six, who mentioned a banker known to him as part of their team, through a friend. 

    He was told to deposit Ksh 1.2 million in a bank account and that their ‘inside guy’ in the money printing sector would multiply that amount to Ksh 21 million. This money would then be deposited in the victim’s account in small periodic amounts to avoid suspicion.

    "Having met the six through a friend, he took the bait. He took a loan against his land and made the deposit. The group kept in touch with calls for patience until they suddenly fell off the face of the earth," he narrated. The family ended up losing the Ksh 1.2 million, acquired through a loan to the fraudsters.

    To avoid being conned, the Communication Authority of Kenya, the body that regulates the mobile phone industry, has often asked phone users to be on their guard; to never give out personal information, to never give out their Pin number, be vigilant and suspicious of unsolicited messages, and that they should delete requests for financial information or passwords.

    An image of a suspect in handcuffs after being arrested
    An image of a suspect in handcuffs after being arrested
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