Safaricom apologises for ‘Top up Ksh.5’ message, says it was sent by mistake

Safaricom subscribers were left stunned on Saturday after receiving messages from the telco threatening to shut down their lines if they do not top up with airtime worth Ksh5.

Some of them took to Twitter asking Safaricom customer care team if the message was a scam while other seemingly irate users dared the company to switch off their lines saying they would not be coerced to buy airtime.

“Dear Customer, your line is about to get deleted from the network. DON’T let this happen. Simply top up your line with Ksh 5 or more to activate it,“ the message from Safaricom reads.

However, the company sought to assure its customers that the message was sent ‘by mistake’ and apologised for the alarm that the message caused to some of its 30million subscribers who received the message.

Customers have been urged to ignore the message.

“Kindly ignore the message. It was sent erroneously. Apologies for the inconvenience,” they replied to one of the customers who complained on Twitter after receiving the message.

This comes amidst concerns over the increasing number of cases of fraud involving telecommunications companies in Kenya.

On June 1o this year, two Safaricom employees were arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi and charged with computer fraud and obtaining money with menaces.

Simon Billy Kinuthia and Brian Njoroge Wamatu are alleged to have unlawfully copied and transferred privileged subscriber data to an unauthorised person identified as Charles Njuguna Kimani.

The information is said to have been copied from the Safaricom database.

And in October last year, three suspects were jointly charged for causing loss of airtime valued at Ksh.42,500 to Safaricom by interfering with the function of a company system.

Safaricom is not the only telco whose employees have been linked to fraud.

Airtel Kenya recently hit headlines after it emerged that the company lost Ksh.670million in fraudulent transactions linked to its employees.

There have also been cases of Kenyans complaining that they receive messages from unknown people claiming to have sent them money by mistake only for it to turn out to be a scam.

Safaricom has however always cautioned Kenyans against falling victims urging them to report suspicious messages to toll free number 333 for investigation.

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