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Children playing with your phone can wipe your bank account clean – expert

The innocent act of letting your child play with your cellphone can wipe your bank account clean, Kenyans have been warned.

Visa director of risk rervices for Sub-Saharan Africa, Ms Nita Omanga, said it is necessary for people using mobile and online banking to be more cautious before letting others, especially children, use their phones.

According to Ms Omanga, cellphones have morphed into being more than just gadgets that are used for making and receiving calls and should be treated with utmost precaution.

“You don’t understand how easily these phone transactions can take place. Some apps don’t need a second password once you are logged in.

“When we go home and remove our wallets, do we give it to the child to play with? We don’t,” she said.

IDENTITY THEFT

Besides this, a child could also unknowingly click on web links that are circulated by scammers for identity theft.

Ms Omanga was speaking in Nairobi at the launch the 2018 edition of the Kaa Chonjo Card, Mobile and Online safety campaign which is run annually by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA).

Kaa Chonjo is an annual awareness initiative whose main objective is to create awareness on the safety precautions that should be taken by consumers of financial services in order to conduct safe transactions.

Mobile money transactions in Kenya have been on the rise over the years, valued at Sh1.17 trillion by December 2017 according to data from the Communications Authority.

MOBILE BANKING

According to KBA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Habil Olaka, scammers have shifted from card-related fraud due to the introduction of chip and pin technology in 2014 and now focus more on online and mobile banking.

“In the past one year, for instance, identity theft cases in mobile and online platforms have scaled up creating new challenges for financial service providers and consumers,” he said, and called for more partnerships among industry players to safeguard their business and clients against cyber criminals.

The main focus of the Kaa Chonjo campaign this year is enhancing safety in mobile transactions.