Beware this con-game with M-pesa


Thought you should know this. lest you find yourself in a similar situation. This happened to somebody.

Hi all,

Just thought to bring this to yur attention. I almost lost some money last week through what appears to be a new MPESA conning technique, this is how it happened:

I got an MPESA alert that I’d received some Ksh. 8,630 from one Jack Rashimo. Now I didn’t know the man and I ofcourse took it that he had sent the money to the wrong number. Naturally I called him back and a very distraught sounding man told me he was sending the money to his brother in Bomet to buy medicine for his ailing mother in hospital. I reassured him that he’ll get his money back and immediately went to my
MPESA account and sent the money back + some little more for withdrawal. I got an MPESA reply to the effect that I didn’t have sufficient funds in my account. I checked my balance and indeed found that I only had the original 500 bob or so. I thought he had called Safaricom and reversed the transaction so I called him and he said he hadnt received the money and that he was going to call Safaricom to find out.

This is where it gets interesting. A few minutes later a man called me saying he was calling from SAFARICOM customer saying they were trying to reverse the transaction but had encountered a problem as the transaction had hang and so to unhang(sic) it he I needed to key in a code he was going to send me. Immediately the alarm bells rang -this was a scam.
I checked again the number he was calling on and realised it was a personal number and not a Safaricom customer care number. I discontinued the conversation and went back to look at the original MPESA alert I had received about the 8,630. To my surprise I had not noticed that the message though a very authentic MPESA message had actually not been sent from the regular MPESA address which appears as the sender but another number, in the hit of the moment I hadn’t realised that, and that is what the conmen capitalise on. They simply forward a genuine MPESA alert to you but its simply that, just a message.

The scam is 2- prong:

1. Had I enough balance in my account I would have lost the money
2. Had I been foolish enough to accept to key in the code the ‘Safaricom’ man was going to send, they may then have had access to my PIN andother account details.

Just be alert:

* Make sure any MPESA transaction is from MPESA- believe me in the hit of the moment you may not notice this, and whats more there might be a heart rending story to accompany it.
* Safaricom will never ask you to key in a number in order to reroute messages or MPESA transaction, unless of course you call the customer care number yourself and such information is given to you.

* Also be ware of people who send you some apparently confidential messages and then call you saying they’d sent it to the wrong number and then plead with you to delete it, then start calling to ‘reward you’ for cooperating with them . Many times the messages are about financial or import transactions. I know someone in the office once received such a message. This is a fraud

These fellows are getting smarter by the day so lets be warned

Hulda Ouma

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Martin is the Managing Editor at Techweez, passionate about personal tech and telling stories of consumer experiences. Talk to me: [email protected]


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