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Common tricks M-Pesa conmen use to steal money from you easily in Kenya


Conmen work day and night to come up with various ways to con people without being caught. They have improved their hustle with the increased technological advances. Here are ways M-Pesa conmen use to steal from unsuspecting victims;

1. Saving their number on your phone as M-Pesa

Someone you know or who is your friend but has ill motives will save their number in your phone as M-Pesa so that they will forward you a fake M-Pesa message and ask you to gibe them the cash. You realize late that they did not send any money.

2. Calling as Safaricom agent.

A random number will call you and introduces him/herself as a safricom agent. He will explain to you that there is a new way to reverse your money quickly when you send to a wrong number. This will entice you as it is a good service.

After gaining your trust, he with ask you to get another phone so that he calls you through and guide you on your phone on what to do. You will be directed to the M-Pesa ATM withdrawal option. He will ask you to press any of these two numbers depending on his choice; 555 555 for PesaPoint or 286 286 for Equity bank. ATM withdrawal only require your phone number and authorization code.

A code with be sent to you and they ask you to read them the code and since they already have your phone number, they will be able to withdraw all the money hoy had in  your phone.

3. Calling as Safaricom representative

Alternatively, they will call and tell you that your number is shared or being used by another person or bigger companies like Coca Cola. So they want to find out if you really own the line. You will be asked to read the original pin that is on the plate you bought your line. You will send and they will call Safaricom to deactivate your line then they will renew it and own it, if you had anything you will be swept away.

4. Sending you real money

Some even go extra mile and send you real money that you confirm and realize that they have actually sent. They call you to ask you to return the money and in the process of you saying ‘let me confirm’ they will hurriedly call Safaricom and request for reversal. You will have sent them the money and safaricom will have also reversed the original amount you were sent. Best way is to always ask them to reverse it themselves, do not send anything.

5. Smartly dressed guys on cars

Others will be driving around estates or road that do not have M-Pesa shops. He will spot the target and ask you if there is any M-pesa agent around which in real sense is not there. They will now ask you to give them cash as they send you an sometimes they even want to send you extra for ‘appreciation’ for agreeing to help. You will give them the cash he sends you the money till you receive confirmation text then they leave and call Safaricom and ask for reversal.

6. Snatching your phone after seeing your pin

Some conmen always hoover around busy M-Pesa shops and since some people are slow, when you are inputting your M-pesa pin they will quickly read it and time you when you leave they snatched the phone and withdraw your money.

7. Calling that you have won some money

A person will call and tell you that your number has won or has been chosen to win a prize in an ongoing lotto or promotion. They will be the first to ask you not to send any money to get your prize. At this point you with feel safe and even trust them. You will told the amount is in even 50s or 100s of thousands. So you need to withdraw it from agent or bank.

They will ask you to type in the Pesa Point number 555 555 or Equity 286286. A code will be sent to you which they will ask you to read for them. Just after this, the next message in your phone will shock you as you will have withdrawn your money.


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I am a writer, an author, communication expert, a linguist, Kiswahili specialist and media enthusiast whose ambition is to give media and journalism a different and new perspective. I hold a B.A degree in Kiswahili and Communication from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, CUEA.