Dec 4, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Puzzle of stolen ID used in Sh2.7m M-pesa transaction

Nothing could be quite as frightening as knowing someone is out there conducting millions of dollars in cash transactions using a mobile phone number registered in your name.

This is the bizarre reality Mr Anthony Mugo, 57, had in struggling for the past three weeks. This comes after he discovered that someone unknown to him had transacted more than 2.7 million shillings using a sim card registered to Mr Mugo’s ID card over the past six months.

It all started on April 25th when Mr. Mugo went to the Kilimani branch of Equity Bank to get a loan.

To his utter shock, Mr. Mugo was told that he could not get a loan, as he was rated negative by a credit bureau (CRB) defaulter. This was news to him, since he had not applied for a loan.

Concerned, he contacted a Transunion CRB agent via WhatsApp the following day at 10:27 a.m.

In the conversation between 11:00 and 11:00: After 10am, Mr Mugo learned that records showed he had defaulted on a Sh6,742 loan made through Fuliza (a credit facility offered by M-pesa to customers with insufficient funds to complete a transaction). p>

“You are listed on a loan default with the NCBA Bank… To be delisted you must make a full payment plus a Sh2,200 clearance fee. That’s 6743+2,200,” the response reads.

“What number was the loan taken from?” Mr. Mugo asked.

The CRB agent realized something was wrong agreed and informed Mr Mugo that an error had occurred and the loan would be written off.

“All you have to do now is pay a release fee of Sh2,200,” the agent said. Mr. Mugo decided not to pay the fee. A few hours later he was standing in NCBA Bank’s Junction Mall branch on Ngong Road. However, he failed to clear his name. “I was told to contact Safaricom,” Mr. Mugo said.

“In December, Safaricom deleted all other numbers associated with my ID and after verification with the USSD code* 106# it was so clear that only my current line remained in the system,” said Mr. Mugo.

He dialed *106# in the presence of this reporter and Safaricom sent back details of only one number.


Mr. Mugo went into a Safaricom store in Junction Mall and shared his predicament. However, he only received four messages, sent between April 26th and May 8th, informing him that his case was noted and would be resolved.

“Dear Customer, Yours Request has been lodged (Mugo’s phone number) on ticket 1-5ZD5QNY9 and will be resolved in 72 hours,” reads the first message, sent on April 26.

On April 30, two more messages came , in which his request was mentioned, registered under the ticket numbers 1-5ZDEDWEU and 1-5ZDJ4VVB. Both messages said his case would be resolved within 48 hours. Two weeks of silence followed.

Disturbed, Mr. Mugo went to Safaricom’s offices on May 12 and received the details of the transactions from October 1, 2021 to May 11.

It turned out that the scammer had not only processed a loan of Sh6,743, but also a total of Sh2,726,667 over the past six months. More than 19 transactions were completed between January 9th and April 5th.

Eight of the transactions were deposits totaling Shh395,489, an amount withdrawn in 11 transactions. The alleged scammer had deposited a total of Sh240,430 in four tranches on January 18th and withdrawn Sh240,374 in four separate transactions on the same day.

“I was absolutely disappointed!” he said. Wachira Kangaru, Safaricom’s Head of Corporate Communications, promised to look into the matter.

“Have him come to our Westlands office or provide us with his details as well and we will resolve this issue very quickly.” solve,” Mr. Kangaru told The Nation.

When asked if such incidents were common, Mr. Kangaru reluctantly replied, “I would have to ask the team, but I doubt that this is the case. ”

Kabete Subdistrict Police Chief Francis Wahome asked Mr. Mugo to report to him or to the Dagoretti subdistrict detective immediately.

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