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DCI Warns Kenyans On Rising Crypto Scams



The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has noted an alarming increase in reports of Kenyans falling victim to scammers operating through online cryptocurrency investment platforms.

According to DCI, the fraudsters employ “deceptive tactics, enticing individuals to invest their hard-earned money with promises of lucrative returns, only for victims to end up losing substantial sums”.

The DCI is investigating multiple cases where investors, swayed by enticing messages like “Make Money Sitting At Home” received via short messages (SMS), have found themselves ensnared in fraudulent schemes. These schemes, instead of delivering promised profits, result in significant financial losses for the unsuspecting victims.

The DCI in a warning statement on Wednesday, urged Kenyans to exercise vigilance and caution against falling prey to this deceptive scheme. The public has been advised to verify the legitimacy of any online investment platform through recognized regulatory bodies such as the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Communication Authority (CA) before committing their funds.


The advisory comes in response to the escalating cases of cryptocurrency-related fraud in the Kenyan market.

The DCI stressed the necessity for heightened awareness and improved verification processes to shield citizens from falling victim to these sophisticated scams.

Kenya, alongside Nigeria and South Africa, was identified among the top countries where scammers generated the highest revenue per user last year, according to a report by the blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.

Chainalysis, a blockchain data platform, noted in its 2023 Crypto Crime Report, the value received by illicit cryptocurrency totaled $24.2 billion. This was a decrease compared to 2022 attributed to increased awareness and efforts to combat such illicit activities.

Stablecoins have emerged as the preferred cryptocurrency for cybercriminals, surpassing Bitcoin in illicit transaction volume. However, the overall share of cryptocurrency volume related to illicit activity is decreasing. Crypto scamming and hacking revenue have also seen declines in 2023, indicating progress in curbing such criminal activities.

Despite these positive trends, criminals remain innovative, employing techniques to finance and conceal illicit activities on the blockchain.

Investigations often involve tracing funds across multiple tokens or chains, with the goal of presenting fully auditable data that can stand up in court.

Detectives at DCI pledged to intensify efforts to combat cryptocurrency-related fraud, urging the general public to remain vigilant and informed to protect themselves from falling victim to evolving online scams.

Various cases of financial exploitation in the rapidly changing landscape of digital investments are ongoing at various courts in the country.

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