SIM-swap scam of R884,000 leaves retired couple in crippling debt

R13...

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Cant they track the Capitec user it was transferred to?
There's apparently a practice where scammers borrow legit accounts to use as money laundering avenues when they can't open the accounts themselves. But there are issues with Capitec too as the fact that all these monies appear to be laundered through them should have them setting up triggers when large amounts are transferred. Even if the scammers transfer the funds to multiple accounts, the source will be the same and they ought to be able to flag something like that. And then Absa appear to have non-existent audit trail systems, because you can bet the marks are identified by bank staff who then pass the info onto syndicates who then social engineer access info out of the mark before proceeding with the sim swaps and pillaging.
 

Kosmik

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I actually think the responsibility of this falls squarely on MTN.

How does a SIM swap happen without determining the true identity of the person requesting the sim swap? I have seen MTN pre-paid sim cards can be swapped without any intervention from MTN at all. It's a few USSDs you use and bang, done. (This gap should be closed as SIM cards are RICAd) There is a way MTN can verify the identity of the person requesting the sim swap to be that of the number owner.

I know Contract sim swaps can only be done in store and with a copy of your ID. The gap here seems to be on Pre-paid numbers.
Well to be honest I just went through as sim swop process with Telkom. Yes , I had to RICA the new sims but the actual swop itself was a SMS to telkom containing my ID number and ICD number from the number I want to port from. I then got a confirmation sms from MTN , saying my sim had a port request and I had 30 mins to reject or it would proceed.

https://secure.telkom.co.za/today/shop/plan/mobile-number-portability/

The question in the case above was how was the sim swop done as the method I describe, he would have been notified of it. The only way to not be notified would be via backend I'm assuming and that screams inside job.
 

Okty

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Absa’s investigation established the following:
•The client’s phone lost connectivity on 14 June 2016.
•After swapping the SIM back, he visited the Absa branch on 20 June to ask why he received an insufficient funds message when he tried to buy electricity.
Du Plessis received a phishing email on 5 June 2016 requesting that he update his FICA credentials.
Article makes it out as if the swim swap was the only cause for them losing the money, but this should be the main reason.
 

R13...

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Article makes it out as if the swim swap was the only cause for them losing the money, but this should be the main reason.
Yeah it is one of the main reasons. But someone passed on his info to the scammers. MTN need to sort themselves out but as has been previously stated sms is too insecure as you can intercept it even without sim swap so why the hell are absa even still using it. They could at least ensure that they move to ussd which is at least tied to the phone (i think).
 

Pitbull

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Well to be honest I just went through as sim swop process with Telkom. Yes , I had to RICA the new sims but the actual swop itself was a SMS to telkom containing my ID number and ICD number from the number I want to port from. I then got a confirmation sms from MTN , saying my sim had a port request and I had 30 mins to reject or it would proceed.

https://secure.telkom.co.za/today/shop/plan/mobile-number-portability/

The question in the case above was how was the sim swop done as the method I describe, he would have been notified of it. The only way to not be notified would be via backend I'm assuming and that screams inside job.
Porting just started before I left MTN not 100% about the details surrounding it. But would your SIM swap to Telkom from MTN be the same as a on network sim swap?

On MTN sim cards (prepaid) if you buy it, it has a booklet telling you how to do a sim swap) Meaning that anyone can do a sim swap without even having to be in contact with any person from MTN to do it.
 

Pitbull

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Article makes it out as if the swim swap was the only cause for them losing the money, but this should be the main reason.
Even if they had his Online banking log in details. They would not have been able to steal anything without the Sim swap having taken place. To create new accounts you need a OTP which is sent to your mobile number.
 

Daruk

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And they have probably banked with them for their whole life, even before it was called ABSA..
In the early noughties I had a client who's accountant had a retirement policy most of their working life with ABSA and one of their predecessors. They were planning on retiring soon (in their 60s). They got a call from a third party on behalf of ABSA to tell them to get their money out of the fund ASAP. After almost 40 years of contributing they managed to salvage R50k from the fund. Now you have to ask yourself. How long had ABSA known that this fund was a failure?
 

mk1

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When will people learn??? If you like loosing your money then go bank with ABSA.
 

Pavan

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I thought all the MNOs had implemented 2FA for sim swaps?
 

Pitbull

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These situations are just a reminder that FICA and RICA does not work as intended.
I can buy pre-rica'd sims from a Paki in Pretoria at R 10 a sim card. Rica is the biggest load of crap on earth.
 

/dev/null

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Even if they had his Online banking log in details. They would not have been able to steal anything without the Sim swap having taken place. To create new accounts you need a OTP which is sent to your mobile number.
Same for the other way. That's the whole point of 2FA.
 

Vrotappel

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When you open an account with Capitec you must provide your fingerprint which I understand is shared with home affairs. Can they not trace these criminals?
 

Ancalagon

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MTN said this does not make it liable for the fraud, however, as the thieves still needed his online banking credentials.
Could the fraud have occurred without the sim swap? Yes or no MTN?

I think no.

The problem is, in order to prevent fraud, you need all systems to be working. If one of those systems has a problem, then fraud occurs. At the moment, MTN is the weakest link.
<- ponders whether he should switch servers providers.
 

PsyWulf

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To be frank,this is a failure of a multitude of systems

I suspect the trail of operations for this was as follows,and based on that specific weakpoints are targeted:


1) Phishing mail is sent,verify FICA details
This looks legit,asks for account number,personal details,phone number - customer weak point

At this point they have indexible info to search for specific patterns,in this instance an ABSA user ( he attempted to log in ),an MTN number (probably based on the dial code) and enough basic personal details to attempt a SIM swop

2) They do the SIM swop at a location that's known to have lax monitoring,with MTN seemingly not using a good 2 staged sim-swop ( if this is a prepaid number how do they verify ownership? RICA details are clearly not checked,or badly enforced) - MTN weak point

Now we have the SIM and all the banking details. Here human interaction has failed twice

3) Log into banking,initiate multitude of transfers and new accounts/loans,ABSA seemingly having no qualms about transfers from multiple linked accounts to outbound without extra verification,and new loans with NO approvals processes - ABSA Weak point

4) Withdraw/transfer from Capitec to ?? - No red flags for large amounts coming in and straight out again into accounts that are normally dormant/low volume of transfer - Capitec Weakpoint
And also seemingly they don't have any idea who the account holders are? Either they are the perpetrators,or they were hired by the perps. And certainly the account holders were FICA'd
 

TelkomUseless

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When will people learn??? If you like loosing your money then go bank with ABSA.
I bank with them.

1) I don't really like them but hey..
2) They do have a block on you online banking when sim swap is done. I upgraded my sim.. got a message when I logged in. So MTN's system doesn't work.

And the poor guy probably clicked on that phising link..
 
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