08-05-2021 by redazione
Kenya's government is warning tourists who want to travel to the African country against "fake" sites offering online tourist visas, the so-called "e-visa".
"The official website for the service in question is only evisa.go.ke," Kenya's Department of Immigration warned on Thursday, "you have to be careful because there are new cyber scams targeting tourists who want to do their visas online.
Immigration cited in particular a website (evisaskenya.com) that asks for Ksh. 15,000 (about €120) to issue a visa, claiming to be one of the Kenyan government's reference sites.
As of yesterday, this site is blacked out, but there is no doubt that telematics scams are around the corner.
"The applicable fee for processing a single entry visa to enter Kenya for business, tourism, medical or other reasons is currently Ksh 5,100," explains the Department of Immigration. "To apply for the e-visa, you need to go to evisa.go.ke, fill out the application form, pay and download the e-visa once it has been approved.
The transition from paper to online visas was one of many processes implemented by the Nairobi government to eliminate, or at least contain, rampant corruption in government offices and to improve security by monitoring the entry of foreigners from the central office.
But the war on cyber fraudsters is one of the biggest issues to overcome, and the state is doing all it can to curb this new menace that adds to domestic bad habits.
According to an Interpol report released last year, Kenya lost over 21 billion Kenyan shillings to cybercrime and online scammers in 2017.
The Federal Bureau Investigation alone in the past two years has arrested 250 Kenyans who were part of organised hacker groups active between the US and East Africa.
It was the FBI itself that warned Kenya, the threat of scams not only burdens the African state's finances, but also the risk of theft of individuals' personal information and sensitive data, and even credit cards and more.
So even if websites regularly issue e-visas, they could still do far worse damage. These sites are obviously not to be confused with the agencies that help travellers to proceed with the compilation of data and electronic entry to the official website and for this they ask for an additional commission to the price of the tourist visa, which is around 40 euros and varies with the exchange rate of the shilling.
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