Airtel in sensitization drive to help people from being defrauded through digital mobile money services


By Duncan Mlanjira

With the growing cases of people being robbed through syndicate of fraudsters who are swindling people through mobile money digital system, Malawi’s mobile phone service provider Airtel is on a sensitization drive people not to entertain callers claiming they are from Airtel.

Some people call unsuspecting people informing them that they have either won a promotion competition that Airtel had conducted or that they have erroneously sent money to their Airtel Money account.

When called to be informed of winning the promotion competition, the caller asks the victim to send some money in order to redeem the prize.

The fraudsters also send an SMS to the victim showing they have received money and the sender calls to ask if they could resend it.

And when informed that the caller has erroneously sent money to the victim, they indeed send an SMS indicating like money has really been sent.

But this SMS has actually been copied by the caller, edited to indicate date and time sent the way a proper SMS comes when money has been received.

Airtel says when one sends money to another, the receiver is notified through an Airtel Money SMS.

Through SMSs, radio adverts and even on social media, Airtel is asking people that if someone they don’t know claim to have sent money erroneously, they should not send it back directly but to inform Airtel to make such transaction.

And Airtel also says when informing people that they have won a competition, they use +265121 and people are encouraged to verify with Airtel using 121

Airtel also says it never asks people to pay in order to redeem their prizes and advises that never reveal pin codes in order to claim prizes.