Details of how top Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) bosses are defrauding their customers have emerged. Their latest target are the monied semi illiterate customers.
This is how they do it. The senior managers will take your account details including your phone contacts and share it with fraudsters who will call you, send you several codes at a time they know you are probably engaged in your routines and have little time for them or when you are too far from the bank premises.
One such victim is a Kisumu-based cattle trader George Omondi who opened an account with KCB Kisumu west branch on June 14, 2019 with the hope that the bank account would help him save money after starting livestock sales business, but this never worked for him.
George made his first deposit the following day and another deposit two days later, little did he know that his details had already been shared with fraudsters who were monitoring every bit of his banking pattern. He would later be frauded Ksh 229,894, monies that were withdrawn through mobile money transfer in two days time.
The senior staff at KCB bank do it in such away that you will never suspect them. The fraudsters they work with will first send you several codes so that in the event they defraud you, you’ll first suspect the codes. This never worked in the case of Mr Omondi who never replied back to their several messages nor engaged them in anything.
“I did not engage them in a conversation and the callers kept sending me messages asking me questions and telling me to give them codes that were being sent to my phone” he said.
The bank managers who helped him open his back account distant themselves, not because they could not genuinely help him but seemingly because they did not want their dealings to be known.
According to Omondi, the fraudsters started by asking him to take some documents to the bank so that he could be given his ATM card.
“Those who called asked me to take some documents to the bank and receive my ATM,” he said.
Who else knew he had not taken his ATM card other than the KCB staff? May be God.
George did not send the codes and went to the bank after receiving the calls and the numerous texts and wanted to understand why they were calling him, only for him to learn that his account had been emptied.
He now hopes that the Banking fraud unit will intervene in his case. “I want the Banking Fraud unit to investigate how the fraudsters knew I had opened the account and how they got my number. Strangely, these things happened too fast. I had not even received my ATM card by the time the thieves struck,” Omondi added.
In 2018, a Kitale-based business lady Caroline Cherono lost a half a million mysteriously from her KCB account yet she had never shared her bank details with anyone. “I have not divulged my account information to anyone except when I applied for my card to be opened for my use out of the country,” she would write in a letter to the bank.
The Senior KCB bosses are so connected that some frauds they conduct outside the country. According to Ms Cherono, her details must have been given out there by someone well known to the bank. “Most of the transactions happened online. Someone wrote an email requesting to use my card. I have never been to London. The dates are aligned to my travel times. It’s like someone had my travel details and would use this to commit this fraud,” her letter to the bank read in part.
Cases of employee-related frauds in KCB like that of Mr George Omondi and Ms Cherono are not new. Time and again customers have reported cases of frauds but no stern action has ever been taken by the bank making one to easily conclude that there is something the top management know about all these. Nobody follows these cases after not-so-well connected employees are fired.
In 2017 Ms Eunice Mwende Ndolo, Mr Felix Muia Ndolo, Mr Edmond Kituri, Mr Benson Mwai Kasugu and Mr Evans Kenda Kiplagat were accused of defrauding KCB of Sh6,793,796 between January 12, and June 2, 2017.
In August 17, 2018, DCI arrested four suspects for an alleged stealing amounting to Ksh.72,619,951.83 which was transferred from the Kenya Commercial Bank in smaller amounts to accounts domiciled with various banks in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Malindi. This was not possible without an insider’s blessings.
A total of 27 such cases were reported in 2017, up from 22 cases in 2016. Though 34 workers were fired in fraud related cases but nothing has changed, in fact the fraud at KCB is increasing each day.
The bank itself admitted in a report seen by 254News that more than 401 fraud incidents have been reported since 2016.
Remember this is a bank that boast of “state-of-the-art security systems to safeguard the integrity of our systems and our customers’ personal data.” Insiders still believe that the network or rather system failure is a major contributor to fraud at KCB.
One wonders what has stopped KCB top management from acting decisively on these rising cases of their customers losing huge amounts of cash under mysterious circumstances.