Betty received a text message; “C0NAL3RT Confirmed. You have received Ksh 3,065 from Mwalimu Jini 07********, new M-PESA balance is Ksh 6,965…” She was not expecting money from anyone.

Her phone rang. The person who had erroneously sent her the money was calling to claim it back. Betty, being the nice Betty we all know, decided it was only right to give the poor man his money. But before going to M-PESA, she dialed *234# to check her M-PESA mini-statement. Immediately, Betty knew a con was out get her hard earned cash!

Angry, and justifiably so, Betty reported the number to 333 and then to the police. After investigations from Fraud team together with the police, the swindler was arrested and prosecuted.

They hack your trust…

Betty is not alone. Fraudsters are always devising new ways to con people. Since it is hard for scams to infiltrate the M-PESA system, they opt for non-technical methods, or social engineering, as it is popularly known. This involves tricking unsuspecting people into breaking normal security procedures and finally manipulating them into among other things, revealing M-PESA PIN or withdrawing from ATMs remotely.

Don’t fall victim…

With that in mind, and for the security of your money, it is imperative to note the following:

  • Check M-PESA balance when unsure of transactions or dial *234# to get FREE mini-statement.
  • M-PESA SMS confirmation messages come from “M-PESA”– Fraudsters send M-PESA transaction from actual mobile numbers.
  • Use a PIN that is not easy for other people to guess.
  • Do not share your PIN with anyone, not even Safaricom staff (PIN YAKO, SIRI YAKO)
  • Do not dial codes or undertake instructions on your handset that you did not request for assistance from Safaricom Customer Care.
  • Get the new SIM card which allows you to save contacts for use while transacting instead of having to write down.
  • Report con cases FREE of charge through SMS to 333 – include the telephone number which initiated the fraudulent request.

Golden Rule – Why would someone offer assistance or give you instructions for M-PESA if you did not seek help? Let us know of other scams or ways in which you have avoided them in the comments section.

Safaricom Blogger
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47 responses to “Dealing with fraudsters”

  1. Aisha Shukri says:

    nice article loved it. am a writer n would easily tell you if i come across a well writen nice blogpost!

      • Magdalene Zawadi says:

        Another thing. Your safaricom line CAN NOT be registered twice as in with two people. If someone calls you to confirm your details claiming your line is owned by two people. DO NOT give your details, including your bonga pin. They threaten to disconnect your line if you don’t.


          • Ben mshega says:

            There are many cases of cons who have registered with convenient titles such as ” engineer” ” doctor” etc. In about 5 cases, the cons and most hail from magwagwa in Kisii are living in plenty and affluence from conning KPLC power applicants. We do not get ids with titles of engineer; doctor; professor etc. Why should cons register with con titles? Safaricom please close all those accounts and block any future attempts to register mpesa accounts or sim cards using titles.

  2. Njue Nyaga says:

    Whenever someone calls me and claims to be calling from Safaricom, I simply ask them to call back using 0722000000! They never do call back, ofcourse.

  3. GRAHAM SIKUKU says:


  4. Dennis G Gichunge says:

    The same thing that happened to Betty happened to me Yesterday….I did report the number to 333. I wish this article on dealing with Fraudsters gets to people from every corner who use the M-PESA services because am certain a lot of people fall trap to these con games. This is great Safaricom. Always the better option.

  5. masha says:

    Why dont you advertise in the main stream media. The annoying thing is that it happened to my wife and when she followed with the Safcom but she was informed the persons number was not registered ? You want to tell me we still have unregistered numbers out there ?

  6. Penina Lihanda says:

    Kenyans should also let go of the ‘easy come’ culture. How does one get excited in winning a price at a competition that he did not participate in?

  7. kazora says:

    I’ve had several cons directed at me, but I said I didn’t participate in such and such, how did I win? The last one was just great though. This dude called and said I had won ‘the Orange’ monthly free give-away prize of 50K. Great, I said, so simply M-pesa me the cash. It is not so easy, he said. Do you have two phones or a dual sim phone? I said a dual-sim. He suggested I get another phone (which I have actually) and separate the lines as ‘they’ needed to talk to me while processing the payment in two instalments. That is when I told him to ‘Go to hell!’. End of story.

  8. Someone Somewhere says:

    This article is not entirely accurate. Fraudulent messages can come from the ‘contact’ “MPESA” itself. There have been ways to do this for a while now.
    It’s time you made users aware Safaricom.

    • It is not possible for cons to send messages from the M-PESA system.

      • Albert Nashon says:


      • Dan Mulo-nzi says:

        There you go Safcom. Completely helpless. You have no contact line where we can drop con numbers to? Your interest is business and business only. Disappointed. Magdalene Zawadi. True. Even with Truecaller, those guys pretending to be Equity or Nakumatt, the first thing they do is to save their lines as such and when you try to search with truecaller you are cheated!

        • Hi Dan, there is a number for reporting fraud cases: “…Report con cases FREE of charge through SMS to 333 – include the telephone number which initiated the fraudulent request.”

    • Magdalene Zawadi says:

      Be carefull who handles your phone. Some take your phone and save their number as M-PESA. Then when they call or SMS you see M-PESA instead of their number

    • Kevin De' Lavega says:

      that con artist must have had your phone and saved their own number using MPESA as a contact name

  9. Nancy Haste says:

    Are you guys sure this kind of information reaches the people in the rural areas …………as they are the ones who usually fall victim. The people in town are aware of the con people but the ones upcountry not really….you should advertise this information or make it available to them widely……maybe you can send them messages or make courtesy calls on the same. Thanks.

  10. lawkiman says:

    Please send this information to all customers because a lot of them have fallen to such tricks.

  11. lawkiman says:

    SIM CARD which allows you to save contacts to use as you are transacting-which one is this and where can I get one.

  12. Stano says:

    by the way fallen into this problem of someone calling telling you allyour details plus your mpesa balance how do they know about this,am worried,i am learned but was surely almost conned if not for a fellow who told me to ignore…its a long story but how? do you safcom leak our informations? kindly tell me

    • We do not disclose customer information to third parties.

    • mgakono says:

      They normally peddle this story from 0727 576 755 . They work hand in hand with safaricom staff coz the day i reactivated my line i got a call from the con in under ten mins. Also watch out those big withdrwals from yr bank to mpesa. utamulikwa!!!

  13. Timoth says:

    I always send you back your message. Fraudsters… Nkt …. you send me 1000, I return your money In message form with your fake name. I once called customer care and they told me to ignore.. See I can’t go to the police and endure the long process yet I travel a lot on duty. If safaricom can stand with clients when they report and follow messages through there system, it can be easy

  14. AnotherDavid Van Dauch says:

    Another way of conning people is u get an sms saying, “ile pesa usitume kwa ile number nyingine tuma kwa hii number 0720……” Translation (That money don’t send it to the other line send it to this line 0720…..) if you supposed to send someone money and you get such an sms, it is very easy to fall victim

  15. Sherman Muigai says:

    practically a millionaire from all the promotions ave won and haven’t participated in….for me i just tell them to stay in prison coz there is where they belong

  16. Wycliffe Onyango Nyafuanga says:

    One con once told me i have won something from Safaricom. My first response was ” I work with Safaricom, so which floor are you in?” He retorted “you work with Safaricom?” i said yes and he dropped out of the line instantly. Generally Kenyans need to be smart. If you have won anything, Safaricom doesn’t need to know your MPESA pin or bank details.

  17. jensbroecher says:

    You should also warn about ATM fraud using PesaPoint. I get such calls all the time. They usually claim to be safaricom staff who selected me to help them test an update to the system.

  18. Ndubai Abraham says:

    Safaricom is the biggest facilitator of conning. Why do they keep sending messages related to personal account all the time, like your airtime balance is xxxxx, your bonga balance is xxxx, Nkt. You should stop scrutinizing my account or else I will sue you safaricom. If I want to know airtime or bonga point balance I know how to check it, Nkt.

  19. steve ndungu says:

    last month a guy called for the same, i replied that ave bought Jameson and the cash was not enough for lime juice please send me a thousand more. am sure he has blacklisted my number by now

  20. steve ndungu says:

    safari com are you having a plan of upgrading sim contact capacity,cause guys 250 contact is to little compared to guys whose phone contact is 800

  21. Athanas Omonyi says:

    if they claim they have send me money by using the actual nos i do the same and reply with the same sms or forward to them just the way they did and they dont get back

  22. Regina says:

    Whenever am sent fake Mpesa,i simply tell them to contact safaricom to reverse their money.They hear this immediately they hang up.

  23. Cycline Mbithi says:

    Why should someone call or sms you on a services that you had not requested and you go ahead to give out your I’d number and all your account details? As for me NEVER I know where to get services that I need and if its a call its either 0722000000 or Safaricom SMS or Mpesa

  24. James Kyalo says:

    Hehe. One called me and told me I had won a competition which I never participated then he tried to instruct me on what to do for me to get my cash I cut him short “he ngoja kidogo uko jela gani? Naivasha ama Kamiti? he abused me and went off! The point is acha tamaa why get the money you never worked for? 2. avoid good deals because when the deal sounds good think twice. thank you.

  25. Dorcor Dida says:

    Goodmorming, Miss Amina Abdalla, i have send 4.5 million shillings via western union, Password 2452111, secret word safaricom.I will be arriving from Dar tomorrow morning.

  26. jameson says:

    you guys you are doing good here….i almost got in the same scenario but escaped narrowly…its good to ensure your mpesa balance is real and not the one these con guys will write u on their sms even before u make any step to reverse any transaction to anyone as they will call crying just to hack ur trust. i would even advice you to tell the guys to contact safaricom customer care for the same…

  27. Martin says:

    0704694187 is the number that hackers asked my friends on facebook to send cash that i was “borrowing” to.

  28. Andrew Nyagah says:

    Watch out for a new type of scam happening on OLX where someone will offer to send you a laptop after paying a deposit, especially from out of Nairobi. I recently fell for one where I paid a deposit for a laptop to 0708814203 and was expecting it to be delivered to Nairobi via g4s, he even had a g4s employee working with him who cofirmed that the shipment was a laptop being sent to me via number 0790715219. Be vigilant!

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