Sat. Feb 29th, 2020

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The Communications Authority of Kenya Provides an Advisory on Online Shopping Fraud

2 min read

Communication Authority of Kenya Headquarters. Photo/Courtesy

The advisory is instigated by the rising cases of fraudulent activities related to online shopping.

The CA through the National Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC) identified the key characteristics of such perpetrators and provided this advisory.

The Authority’s attention was drawn to various websites and mobile applications that purport to be selling goods & services online.

The criminals behind these websites and mobile applications are using internet.

The online shopping criminals entice unsuspecting buyers through deals via email, SMS, social media pages, or telephone.

They also request for a registration fee for the goods or service.

Notable characteristics of these criminals include:

  1. Unavailable registered physical addresses/contacts
  2. Unaivailable customer care helplines
  3. Possession of suspicious telephone numbers, email address & websites
  4. Impersonation of websites, mobile applications for institutions such as banks, insurance, government agencies among others.
  5. Use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to perpetrate fraud schemes.

The public is advised to take precautionary measures as follows:

a) Verify the authenticity of online trading platforms through family, friends, organisations before engaging with them.

b) Desist from sending money to mobile numbers belonging to individuals posing as representatives of such online stores.

c) Avoid installing internet applications with questionable sources

d) Carry out checks on the respective online stores and mobile applications by reading online reviews or other third party comments on the stores and applications

e) Avoid disclosing personal details such as bank account details, ATM Pin, usernames, passwords to third parties.

f) Report such fraudulent websites and mobile applications to the helplines of known genuine online stores

g) Report cases of online fraud to the National KE-CIRT/CC.

Members of the public are also advised to contact the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre (KE-CIRT/CC) via email or hotlines +254 703042700, +254730 172700 to report incidences on matters of cyber security.

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