Kenya Ranked Top African Nation in Wash Wash Activities - Report

  • Kenyans are highly likely to lose money in online wash wash tendencies after it was ranked the country with the highest scams (also known as social engineering) and phishing.

    A report published by Kaspersky, a security company, indicated that Kenya had recorded a 438 per cent increase in phishing and scams detection in the second quarter of 2022  compared to Quarter 1.

    In the past three months, a total of 5,098,534 phishing attacks were recorded in Kenya  compared to 4,578,216 that were detected in South Africa and 1,046,136 in Nigeria.

    Social engineering is often used online to lure unsuspecting Kenyans with questionable links and asking them to input their personal information.

    Kaspersky office in Moscow, Russia.
    Kaspersky office in Moscow, Russia.

    The information may range from bank account passwords to payment card details and login credentials for social media accounts. 

    As a result, the victims may lose large sums of money to hackers in what has come to be widely known, in the online community, as human hacking process.

    Phishing, on the other hand, takes the social engineering exercise to a large scale through sending emails to multiple people at once in an attempt to dupe a crowd.

    This results in a massive loss of money by the victims who fall prey to the hacking tendencies. They stand to lose up to millions as their bank accounts get wiped clean.

    In Africa, the company announced that it had detected 10,722,886 phishing attacks in quarter 2 alone.

    Mikhail Sytnik, a security expert at Kaspersky, noted that the attack recorded a spike during vacation periods especially around the summer and end-of-year festivities as a number of travelers seek to secure hotel for stay.

    “Planning a vacation is not easy. People can spend weeks, even months, looking for the perfect place to stay and the tickets to get them there. Fraudsters use this to lure users that have grown tired of searching for great deals.

    "After two years of flight restrictions imposed by the pandemic, travelling is back. But so are travel scams – with intensified scamming activity targeting users through fake booking and rental services. Such attacks are totally preventable, which is why we urge users to be skeptical about overly generous offers. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is,” he stated.

    Kenya has, for years, been a hub of online scams including in September 2021 when Kaspersky announced that the country recorded over 2 million phishing attacks in the first half of that year.

    The cyber criminals also grew more targeted to specific victims with the use of advanced persistent threat (APT) campaigns.

    A person using a mobile phone
    A person using a mobile phone.
    criminal hack suspect scam