This is an improvised version of the customer care tactic whereby a con approaches an M-PESA agent with a request to make a deposit and send it to another number through the agent’s personal phone since the con does not possess a Safaricom line.
Once the transaction is effected, the con showers the agent with appreciation and departs.
A few minutes later, a second ‘customer’ emerges with a request to make a deposit of Ksh 20,000.
While in progress, the agent receives a call from personal number with the caller identifying himself as a Safaricom customer care agent authorizing for an initiation of a reversal of the transaction since their ‘systems’ detected an anomaly with the transaction.
The clueless agent is then provided with an otherwise random code to dial like *35*0000*16# and requested to wait for a period of not more than 5 minutes before allowing any subsequent transactions.
All the while, the previous ‘customer’ looks restless and ‘annoyed’.
After the 5 minute lapse, the agent proceeds with depositing the money once again. Nothing! No confirmation message coming through.
The ‘customer’ now agitated tells the agent to retry since he also did not ‘receive’ any SMS confirmation either.
Once again, the agent repeats the procedure. Still nothing!
The customer now tired and restless, requests for his money to try and deposit elsewhere and with such a brilliant performance, he walks away with a cool Ksh.60,000 leaving the agent with a future story to tell.
HOW THE SCAM WORKS
Both customers are part of the scam. The initial customer who requested for a deposit through the agent’s phone did that so as to get the agent’s personal phone number so that they could use it to call back as Customer care impersonators.
The second customer is used to delay the agent for the actual scam to take place i.e an impersonation call to be made to the agent providing the ‘reversal codes’
The codes provided are actually codes that enable incoming SMS barring which block any incoming messages.
The deposit transactions actually took place but the confirmation messages were blocked from the agent’s phone meaning the agent made two attempts of depositing ksh20, 000 and lastly gave the con back his ksh20, 000.
In total, the agent lost Ksh 60,000