Issues that have to do with money have always been sensitive. People quickly panic whenever they figure out that their money is at risk, this is why institutions that deal with money (at whatever level) are ever under scrutiny.
As such, EcoCash is one of those…
This morning I got a call from a friend who was telling me that the *151*# EcoCash code could let you access your EcoCash menu even without being prompted to provide a pin. This was quite alarming considering that your pin is the only thing that verifies and gives you access to your account.
Had EcoCash not been the most used payment platform (more than 90% of transactions in Zimbabwe) we’d have been less worried.
Also remember that with EcoCash, you can easily have access to your bank account (if linked, which is likely the case), which makes it even more worrying.
Coincidentally (or not, since thanks to WhatsApp news travels fast), one of the guys here came across this flier.
But now after reading the contents on that flier the question is; Can someone not just change your pin using the *151*# menu since it already gives access to the EcoCash menu and then use the new pin they would have generated to do whatever else they want with your EcoCash Wallet???
The simple answer is no. No they cannot. All ‘personalised’ processes fail at some point if you use the *151*# short code. This means things like pin reset, balance inquiry and all transactions cannot be completed using that short code.
So what’s the point of the short code? Well, it’s for more generic inquiries like inquiring on the daily or monthly transaction limits on EcoCash which to be honest are quite few. I personally don’t see myself making use of the *151*# option really, I mean what’s the point?
Nonetheless, no need for the “alarm and despondency” no one will steal your money or do anything meaningful really without your pin. However, feel free to keep checking out for loopholes or vulnerabilities, it might be useful to let EcoCash know if any so that our money stays secure. But please, do not be gullible to these fake stories circulating, after all they are simple to prove, just try it yourself and see if indeed it works.
[UPDATE]: The *151*# has been blocked.