Safaricom has announced that going forward, its subscribers will be notified every time a line is registered using their national identity card.
The move is aimed at tackling fraud which has become prevalent.
As some subscribers have been finding out, their identity has long been hijacked by fraudsters who have been registering new SIMs using other people’s ID’s without their knowledge and/or consent in order to avoid detection and apprehension by the authorities.
The end result, in some cases, has been innocent subscribers being linked to criminal activities they are not aware of, a situation that becomes hard for one to extract themselves from and be absolved of any wrongdoing.
Previously, one has needed to get in touch with the company’s customer service team in order to be able to check if there may be any other additional numbers associated with their identity that they may not be aware of and there has not been any means to stop any new numbers from being linked to them without their consent. One has simply needed a national ID to go ahead and register a new line.
How the new feature works is that any time a new line is linked to one’s ID, like, say, when they purchase a new SIM, they will receive an alert from 707. The alert will not only inform them of the attempt to link their identity to a new SIM but also provide the subscriber with an opportunity to approve or deny the association.
In instances where one is initiating the acquisition of an extra line/SIM, a simple YES response will be enough to complete the registration process. In a situation where one is not aware that someone is registering a new SIM using their identity, they just reply with NO and the fraudster will be stopped in their tracks.
While this is welcome, Safaricom should be exploring an easier way of allowing users to quickly check the number of lines already associated with their ID numbers.