The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has advised Kenyans to be wary of a criminal racket that is targeting unsuspecting online shoppers purporting to be running E-Commerce platforms.

The communications regulator through the National Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre (KE-CIRT/CC) on September 26 issued an advisory warning that fraudsters are enticing buyers with deals through e-mail, SMS, social media and phone calls.

According to CA, the intricate scheme by the con-men involves them requesting the buyers for a registration fee for goods and services.

CA in the advisory outlined notable characteristics of the criminals which include; Unavailable registered physical addresses or contacts, unavailable customer care helplines, possession of suspicious telephone numbers, e-mails and websites.

The online racket also impersonates websites and mobile applications of institutions such as banks, insurance companies and government agencies. The fraudsters also use social media platforms to perpetrate fraud schemes.

CA advised the public to verify the authenticity of online trading platforms before making purchases, refrain from sending money to mobile phone numbers belonging to the fraudsters posing as E-Commerce platforms representatives.

Kenyans have also been advised to do their own background checks on the platforms in questions including reading reviews, avoid disclosing personal financial details like, ATM pins, usernames and passwords to third parties.

Members of the public have also been advised to report fraudulent websites and mobile transactions to helplines of known genuine online stores.

CA is encouraging Kenyans to report cases of online fraud to the police or to National (KE-CIRT/CC) through its e-mail address [email protected] or through its phone numbers 0703 042 700, 0730 172 700.

SEE ALSO : 13 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN FROM ONLINE PREDATORS

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