Man Sues Safaricom After Losing Over Ksh490K To Sim Swap Fraud

October 21, 2022

A man is in court seeking over Ksh400,000 from telco giant Safaricom after he lost close to half a million to fraudsters.

In the suit filed at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, Abdi Zeila claims SIM-card swap fraud was carried out on his registered line on March 28, 2022.

He adds that a total of Ksh495,651 was withdrawn from his NCBA Bank account and M-Pesa wallet.

The amount included Ksh373,000 from his NCBA Bank account, Ksh24,000 from his M-Shwari loan account, Ksh20,000 from his KCB mobile loan account and a Ksh12,000 M-Pesa overdraft through the Fuliza credit service.

The fraudster also applied for and obtained a Ksh66,640 mobile banking loan from NCBA Bank before proceeding to withdraw the money.

The businessman explains that at the time of the unauthorized Sim swap his mobile phone was on a roaming network outside Kenya.

He argues that Safaricom, being the provider of the roaming network he was using, was aware or reasonably ought to have been aware that he could not have been in a position to carry out a Sim swap as he was out of the country.

Abdi notes that he returned to the country on March 30 through the border town of Namanga, only to discover that his Safaricom number was not functional and that his accounts had been drained.

“Several months later, I have neither received feedback nor a refund of my lost funds. I am apprehensive that Safaricom does not intend to. I hold Safaricom solely liable for the loss I incurred. I am aware that there have been various newspaper reports of Sim swap fraud on the Safaricom network, especially after my experience,” he says.

He is accusing Safaricom of failing to ensure that the registration details of subscribers are secure and confidential. The petitioner further claims Safaricom failed in its obligation to ensure that personal registration details are not disclosed to third parties without the written consent of the subscriber.

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) is also listed as a defendant for allegedly overseeing violations of the rights of subscribers and exposing them to fraudsters.

Abdi further states that at the time his Sim card was swapped, he had his original national identification card and original passport. He, therefore, reasons that the fraud must have been done without the use of his physical identification documents.

“Only Safaricom can explain and take responsibility for the unauthorised Sim swap registration that occurred on his account… Safaricom had sole responsibility for carrying out know-your-customer (KYC) steps and verification prior to authorising the Sim swap,” he says.

Abdi wants Safaricom and CA held liable and ordered to pay for the financial losses incurred by him and other victims.

The complainant has received the court’s nod to invite other Safaricom subscribers in the class-action suit for injuries and financial losses caused by Sim swap activities on M-Pesa and mobile money platforms.

Also Read – How Safaricom is Dealing With SIM Swap/M-Pesa Fraud

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