Kenya has been named the most targeted African country in Identification Card (ID) fraud, a new report dubbed the State of KYC in Africa published by Smile ID shows.
It was ranked ahead of Nigeria and South Africa, which were ranked second and third, respectively. This occurred approximately a year after the 2022 edition covering the first half of 2022, ranked Kenya first.
According to the report, ID fraud cases in Kenya witnessed a significant increase from 10% in the second half of 2022 to 17% during the period between January and June 2023.
“In the first half of 2023, the national IDs of Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa were the three most frequently targeted types of IDs for fraud relative to other forms of identification across Africa.”
“Specifically, in these three countries, national ID cards experienced a higher fraud rate than any other form of ID during the first half of 2023,” read the report in part.
The three nations recorded the highest number of risk ahead of Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt, Zambia, Senegal, Cameroon, and Cote D’Ivoire.
According to the report, fraudsters are increasingly targeting the national IDs, which are used as the nations’ primary identification document, to compromise user identity.
“After seeing record-low numbers in H2 2022, fraud in Kenya is rising again. In the first half of the year, fraud attempts grew from 10% in January 2023 to 17% in June 2023. However, even though there has been a significant increase, fraudulent onboarding attempts are still below the figures recorded in H1 2022.”
“The recent increase in fraud attempts makes Kenya the highest-risk country for ID fraud compared to the other countries analyzed,” added the report.
To remedy the situation, the state is set to roll out a digital identification card in September 2023 with security features including iris and facial recognition.
The grim figures come at a time Kenyan government institutions and corporations are reeling from several hacks targeting government and corporation websites and systems.