Crooked Kenyans Using Apps To Edit M-Pesa Messages To Steal From Restaurants

by Business Watch Team

A video has emerged of how crooked Kenyans are using mobile apps to generate fake M-Pesa messages to avoid paying bills amounting to thousands of shillings in bars, clubs, and restaurants. “This is painful to even imagine the level of losses,” said one X User.

It is estimated that businesses might have lost millions of shillings through this scam which is widespread in most parts of the country. “Imagine if two of these guys are at your club, and they drink worth 30,000 each. What will you do? Losses and pain,” said another X User.

There is an online app that generates fake messages. Someone copies an old M-Pesa message, posts within the app, changes the date, keys in the amount he is supposed to pay, and then press SEND. Then boom, a message lands on his phone from “M-PESA” which is then shown to the waiter or waitress.

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Here is how it works:

The conning game is so much advanced that Safaricom cannot intervene to stop it. It is up to the owner of the business to prepare their employees on how to make sure that the message they are seeing is genuine. This includes having systems that reflect payments as soon as it is paid via M-Pesa.

But many business owners, especially bars and clubs do not care because the cash lost is often deducted from the waiter’s/waitress’ pay at the end of the shift or month. Many end up not earning anything from their hard work, going home with tears.

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