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23 December, 2010

Bank fraud in Kenya flourishing.

Identity theft in Kenya has been rife for along time but it has always been put under wraps by the affected banks, cases have been reported of people who have lost millions through this activity with little effort done to combat the problem. The story of peter (not his actual name) highlights the frustrations that face people who are affected by these fraudulent activities.

More than one billion shillings has been stolen from bank in the last eight months of this year mostly involving well organized syndicates working in cohort with dishonest bank employees. The police, antifraud unit, have only been able to recover less than half of the money.

These fraudulent activities are not limited to individual’s accounts but also corporations and government institution stretching all the way to the US a case in point is the Kenyans who were charged in West Virginia for orchestrating a scheme that tricked a state office and officials in several other states last year into rerouting payments meant for legitimate businesses. The conspirators opened accounts in two banks for corporations they registered under names nearly identical to that of the actual government vendors. It was brought forth during the sentencing that there was possible involvement by bank officials in aiding this. Some of the tactics used to gain access to sensitive information is as highlighted below:

From: EQUITY Bank
Subject: Re-confirm Your Account Information
Sent: May 10, 2010 10:18 AM
Dear Valued Customer,
Due to the recent update made to our database, we have some difficulties verifying your account, we urge you to confirm your account information to enable us to verify your account information.
Click on the link below to confirm your account.
We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you.
Customer Service

©2006, Equity Bank

A recent report by the banking anti-fraud unit showed that theft in commercial banks more than tripled in the third quarter of this year to Sh1.7 billion. This has made companies and government agencies beef up their anti-fraud departments to counter a rising wave of thefts at the workplace, a majority of which are executed by employees. The Kenyans business daily reported that the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, an organisation that trains forensic auditors, says it has recorded an upsurge in the number of inquiries from institutions seeking to put their employees on anti-fraud training programmes.
Chief executive Jane Mugo said demand for forensic auditors has risen as firms and State agencies seek to upgrade the skills of internal auditors, lawyers, and private investigators who are increasingly being called upon to investigate complex fraud cases.
“Last year, we started with only 10 auditors from the government and 12 trainees from the private sector, but this year the number has increased especially from the financial sector and regulatory bodies to 65 officers from the government and 30 from the private sector,” she said
The 2010/2011 annual report by Kroll Associates on international fraud trends shows 53 per cent of financial service sector respondents reported a higher level of fraud, compared with only 27 per cent in other industries. Africa had the highest incidence of fraud globally, the report warns that financial service providers should brace for more losses in the coming year.

courtesy of

21 December, 2010

GINA DIN:Kenyas PR Mogul

Gina Din-Kariuki founded Gina Din Corporate Communications 13 years ago when the public relations industry was only taking off in Kenya. She signed on Safaricom 3 years later and today continues to compete against the mighty Scangroup. In one her rare interviews, she tells Larry Madowo what it was like starting out, what the business has become and how new technology affects it.Personally I liked the way she handled the KQ Cameroon air disaster and safaricom price war with Zain.