MTN South Africa said on Monday that it has implemented a wide range of measures to tackle fraud, including identity theft, illegal Sim swaps and number ports through which criminals try to get access to customers’ bank accounts.
Criminals, the mobile operator said, are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to defraud customers.
Identity theft is “often the start of the fraud, with a criminal getting hold of sufficient personal information to pose as a credible ‘network agent’”, it said in a statement.
“Once the ‘agent’ has a customer on the line, they then solicit more details from the customer to then perpetrate the fraud. In other instances, personal data may have been stolen to be able to action the fraud directly,” said Elgiva Sibisi, GM for revenue assurance and fraud management at MTN South Africa, in a statement.
“A recent example of this was in 2018 when MTN warned all its customers to beware of a new scam. In this scam, criminals claiming to be MTN call centre agents would request the customer’s security details under the pretense that they were blocking the processing of a Sim-swap request that was being made on the subscriber’s number without their knowledge or authorisation. The scammers were then using the customer’s responses, obtained during the call, to perform a fraudulent Sim swap,” Sibisi said.
According to SMSes sent out by MTN this morning, scammers seem to be targeting their customers. The service provider sent out text messages asking customers to be alert. Customers were being asked to deposit money into an account so that prize and competition funds can be released to them.
When logging onto the MTN website we were alerted to a second case of fraud. This warning related to a fake survey doing the rounds. The prize being an Apple iPhone upon completion.
MTN said it has implemented a “treating customers fairly” (TCF) policy, which is aimed at ensuring clients are protected against fraud.
“Furthermore, MTN has conducted in-depth checks and ensure that all its technology partners and other stakeholders adhere and comply with the Consumer Protection Act. As a result, MTN has put in place measures, through TCF, to remove these fraudulent subscription activities.”
Be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your service provider. Should something seem suspicious query it before taking any action. Especially if it involves passwords and large sums of money.
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