Identity theft has become an increasing problem; the scam operates by obtaining information about an individual, then using the information to apply for identity cards, accounts and credit in that person’s name.
Often little more than name, parents’ name, date and place of birth are sufficient to obtain a birth certificate; each document obtained then is used as identification in order to obtain more identity documents.
Government-issued standard identification numbers such as ” social security numbers” are also valuable to the fraudster
Information may be obtained from insiders (such as dishonest bank or government employees), by fraudulent offers for employment or investments (in which the victim is asked for a long list of personal information) or by sending forged bank or taxation correspondence.
Sylvia Wanja aged 65 years is currently serving 9 years jail sentence for Bank fraud case where she was accused of impersonation.
According to her, she was convicted for crime she did without her conscience. Wanja says that her family have abandoned her since then where she has told them that she won’t die in prison despite life threatening diabetic condition.
She says that she used to work in Dandora as Mutumba hawker and life was going on well. one fateful day when she was approached by a young girl who happened to be a complete stranger to her and she could not suspect she had malicious intentions.
The young lady told Sylvia that she had a problem and wanted Her help.The lady said that she had lost her parents and her brothers had scrambled for all the property of the parents without giving her a share. The girl however said that she had the bank details of her late mum and wanted assistance from Sylvia to withdraw the money.
She Believed Wanja resembled her mother and therefore it would be easy for her to withdraw the money without banking staff noticing
. She agreed and first time, she managed to withdraw Ksh 400,000. The girl gave Sylvia 20,000 as appreciation. second time she withdrew 200,000 and was given ksh10,000. She came for third time requesting ksh250,000 and things took unexpected turn.
The bank teller noticed something was not right and upon questioning wanja , she was not even able to say account name. The lady who brought her disappeared into thin air.
She was arrested in September 2018 and sentenced for 9 years. Her family abandoned her in the three years she served her sentence at Lang’ata women prison. She is however adamant she will make it alive at the end of her jail term.
A robbery offense carries with it a prison sentence of a minimum of one year and a maximum of 20 years. One particular aggravating circumstance is that of the victim being over the age of 65, in which case the sentences range from five to 20 years of imprisonment.
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