A gang of fraudsters posing as Safaricom and StarTimes employees operating in Nairobi County were on Sunday arrested by police.
According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the fraudsters use a range of merchandise including electronic goods and laptops they purport to be promoting or selling.
Police said the gang normally parks their vehicles within notable busy spots in the city, especially at Tea Room on Mfangano Street next to Sizzling Hotel and around Globe Cinema round-about.
Members of the public that have supposedly used Safaricom lines for more than two years and StarTimes customers are then lured to be rewarded with new phones and other electronic items.
Those who fall prey to the trap are then requested to register by sending some amount through M-Pesa and in the process, the gang members master the victim’s M-Pesa PIN after which the gang members transfer their money in the pretense of activating their accounts.
In other cases, victims are asked to hand over their identity cards for registration and in the process, they note their year of birth.
Detectives said that many Kenyans use their year of birth as their PIN which makes it easy for fraudsters to wire money from their victims’ accounts.
The DCI also identified the alleged members of the gang, including John Ngethe Mwaura, who is said to be the gang leader.
The other suspects seized in the operation are Geoffrey Ngari Githui and Timothy Njena Mwaura, whose vehicle is used by the suspected fraudsters.
Another member of the gang whose vehicle is used to display the items purported to be on sale is John Kamande Ndungu.
The syndicate driver was identified as Kelvin Kamau Muturi while the spy who monitors and alerts the gang of police presence was identified as Peter Gitau Kibe.
The fraudsters also have an employee identified as Benard Thuita Maina.
The DCI said a number of victims who lost cash to the fraudsters have already recorded their statements with the police.