During this week worrying news spread like wildfire through WhatsApp groups and Facebook. You could hack someone’s Ecocash account simply by dialing *151*#. Doing this would allow you to access someone’s Ecocash top menu without a pin.
This what you used to get when you dialed *151*#. It is the same menu you get when you dial *151# and enter you pin. The similarities led to some people mistakenly thinking that you could hack Ecocash this way. Since you could even apparently attempt to change the pin this way some people thought this was a hack.
Some idiot then went on social media and publicized this hack. Like all fake news the lie went out to all corners of Zimbabwe before the truth could even tie its shoes. Econet have had to continuous publish rebuttals to this blatant lie since then but to no effect. They have now decided to just disable the shortcut.
It’s not true
For the sake of convenience Ecocash has several long codes which you can use. This include codes like *151*1*1*number*amount# to send money, *151*3*1*agentcode*amount# to cash out and *151*2*2*merchantcode*amount# to pay merchant
These codes help you skip the prompts but they will all not complete without you inputing your pin. What some people don’t seem to know is that there are variations to these codes as well. for example *151*2*2*merchantcode# can be used when paying merchants. This is especial useful when making payments that involve decimals.
No Ecocash operation/ transaction will complete without you entering your original pin
Econet has now disabled the shortcut
The code *151*# was meant to allow Ecocash customers to quickly access the top level menu. At some point you would be required to enter your pin in order to complete an transaction or operation. If you say attempted to change the pin you would be required to enter the original pin first.
Truth be told this *151*# shortcut was never popular with most customers before the idiot who started the hoax discovered it and decided to create a little fake news scare. To avoid confusion Econet has now disabled the shortcut.
Now whenever you attempt to access the top level menu you get the above error message. Econet have also issued a statement confirming what we knew all along:
You cannot hack Ecocash using the *151*#
Financial applications like Ecocash are extensively tested to reveal any security bugs in them. Such a bug would have been revealed during preliminary testing. That is because the first rule of computer programming is to never trust user input. All programmers are required to treat all user input as potentially dangerous and be on the lookout.