Nairobi News


Safaricom fired 24 employees in fraud war

Safaricom fired 24 employees in the year ended March 2022 for fraud-related offences, a slight decrease from 28 dismissals the year before.

The telco said the employees were fired for engaging in serious offences, five of whom were reported to law enforcement agencies.

In its sustainability business report, Safaricom says a total of 27 employees faced disciplinary action in the last financial year, and three of them were given disciplinary warnings.

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In its 2022 report, Safaricom indicates that fraud cases within the company were the lowest reported in four years in the year ending March this year.

There were 30 fraud cases in the year 2019, 35 in 2020, 36 in 2021 and 27 in 2022.

In the report, out of 27 staff dismissed, 7 were due to asset misappropriation, 8 for breach of policy, 1 each for data privacy and Negligence of duties and 10 for SIM swap.

Safaricom says it has established fraud management squads specialising in analytics, customer awareness and process reviews to drive safety for clients through accelerated use of machine learning and automation, continuous fraud awareness and process reviews.

“We continued to conduct training for staff in fraud awareness sessions, together with fraud training for our M-Pesa agents, dealers and suppliers. We also continued to help customers safeguard themselves from fraud by educating them on how to protect themselves on the network by safeguarding and protecting their data and sensitive information,” said Safaricom.

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Data protection has become a key area of focus since the government set up rules to restrict the State and companies handling of information to prevent misuse imposing a fine of up to Sh5 million or one per cent of annual turnover for corporations.

Sharing of client information to third parties has led to unregulated text messages, unsolicited emails or marketing of services and products such as insurance policies.

Individuals also risk having their identities cloned, exposing them to bank fraud among other perils.

On Tuesday, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa refuted claims that the telecommunications giant is using its network to covertly track customer data.

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In an interview with Citizen TV, Mr Ndegwa said that Safaricom’s servers do not have the capabilities to perform such functions, noting that consumer data protection is at the forefront of the telco’s operational mandate.

According to the CEO, the telco considers privacy at every stage of developing a new product or commissioning a new service in line with the Data Protection Act.

“Our network is not used to track Kenyans. We do not have the capacity to track Kenyans, we do not use our network to track Kenyans,” Mr Ndegwa said.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there, all I can say is we protect customer data. There is a Data Protection Act that we follow to the letter and we can assure customers that their data is safe with us. We are respected as a brand and we continue to do that going forward.”

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