Kenyans who are fond of online transactions will now have to exercise a little more caution if the recent warning from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is anything to go by.
In a statement on Twitter on Tuesday, DCI boss George Kinoti expressed concern over the skyrocketing fraud cases online, cautioning Kenyans to be extra vigilant while engaging in digital transactions.
"Following overwhelming reports of online fraud to our DCI Offices across the country, we wish to Caution members of the public against engaging in online transactions with companies, agencies and/or individuals they have no credible information about," read the statement in part.
The DCI further said that some Kenyans had found themselves in unpleasant scenarios after engaging in business on social media websites without first conducting due diligence, which had cost them dearly.
Such cases, according to the DCI, include online groups luring jobless Kenyan youth on promises of getting them jobs within and abroad, online product vendors who disappear once payments are done in advance and online car hires that never materialize.
Other schemes mentioned are online cash traders (Forex Exchange), social media sites bearing prominent people's profiles aimed at misleading and extortion, fraudsters making random calls while posing as service providers to cause panic to unsuspecting victims, informing them of possible security breaches to their bank and M-Pesa accounts hence end up revealing their confidential particulars.
The DCI also noted the process of pursuing online criminals was a painfully length one as it required Cyber-Forensic Interventions, urging the public to always report to police when they lost their personal effects.
"Mostly because perpetrators use different social media/sim cards to contact different people, after which they block and delete their accounts upon successful transactions. In this regard, we urge the public to always and immediately report to the nearest police stations any time they lose their ID cards, Sim cards/mobile phones and laptops, personal documents including academic testimonials and driving licenses, and to obtain abstract forms," the DCI said.
Apart from getting assistance from police in the recovery of the lost items, the DCI said a prior police report would come in handy in reinforcing evidence by the victim in the event such documents were subjected to unlawful use by the perpetrators.