By Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi- Attached is a crime alert that has gone viral on social media platforms. The truth of the matter is, your identity can be stolen in so many different ways.
To protect the citizens of Zimbabwe I shall not focus on how your identity can be stolen because that will be educating “would-be” criminals to commit similar crime.
What is important is to demand that your identity is protected by your service providers, be it Banks, mobile money service providers, insurance and even the government has the duty to protect you.
Mind you I have forwarded this write up to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs, ZRP, RBZ, financial service providers, ZACC, mobile money providers, insurance companies, Registrar General and ICT professionals in Zimbabwe.
The number one crime in Zimbabwe is mobile money scam and the most affected is ecocash according to our Cyber research.
There is now an immediate need to use biometric facial recognition as a way of identifying clients. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crime in Zimbabwe with the identities of thousands of individuals having been compromised in recent years.
The criminals use the identity theft to scam. Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else’s identity to steal money or gain other benefits.
Leading to an innocent person ending up being arrested. How this is done is easy, the criminal reproduces a plastic National Identity (ID), after getting information that a “target” has a lump sum in their mobile money account or is receiving some cash.
At say 4:25pm just before mobile money shop closes the criminal enters the shop advises the customer assistant that he/she has lost her phone or it is stolen and requests for a subscriber identity module (SIM) card replacement.
Once one is issued with a replacement SIM card,the actual SIM card owner is immediately blocked and the criminal will now have full access to your mobile money account and the owner does not have access to the mobile phone company because it will be closed for business.
The only time that one will get access to a mobile money service provider is at 8am the next day by then the mobile money wallet would have been wiped out.
There is now a need for mobile money companies to adopt the biometric facial recognition system and have a central database of all mobile money registered clients. Biometric face recognition technology is used worldwide for fighting crime, preventing fraud, securing public safety and improving customer experience across a vast range of locations and industries.
This is now the best technology that can be used to prevent mobile money fraud especially in Zimbabwe where 96 percent of all transactions are now being processed electronically.
The use of biometrics make use of our most unique physical features and behaviours to serve as digital identifiers that computers and software can interpret and utilise for identity-related applications. They can be used to identify someone in a biometric database or to verify the authenticity of a claimed identity.
We are urging Zimbabwe’s mobile money service provider to use biometric facial recognition to protect the vulnerable consumer who is now at the mercy of modern day criminals.
As a citizen of Zimbabwe remember there are laws (data protection act) that demand that your identity is protected and verified by your service provider.
You can also sue your service provider for negligence if fraud or a crime is committed that leads to your arrest.
If you need any further advise or your company needs advice, do not hesitate to contact me on 0772278161 or email [email protected]
Engineer Mutisi is the Chair of the ICT division of Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE) , a Board Member of the Zimbabwe Institute of Directors (IOD), a Member of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) UK and a practising Engineer with Engineering Council of Zimbabwe (ECZ)
Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.