Vodacom prepaid customers hit by airtime theft

Jamie McKane

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Vodacom prepaid customers hit by airtime theft

An industry investigation revealed airtime theft on a mass scale from Vodacom’s prepaid customers, with fraudsters use a gateway developed by the mobile operator to bill victims.

The results of this investigation were provided to MyBroadband on the condition that the source remains anonymous because of the organisation’s relationship with Vodacom.
 

moklet

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MyBroadband learned that many Vodacom executives are unhappy about the continued airtime theft which mostly affects their poorer subscribers.

To try to address the issue internally, however, causes conflict, as other executives are defending this revenue stream due to their bonuses depending on it.

its all about the $$$$$$

I steal R1.00 if you keep quit i give you R0,10
 

Ivanr

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Take this matter to the High Court to force their CEO to close the gates like Telkom.
 

Mekon

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So they worry more about their bottom line than their customers getting ripped off? Sounds about right. Greed is good né.
 

RandomGeek

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WASPs and related content have NO place in 2020

"Telkom is the only large operator which blocks WASP billing by default on its network and therefore does not have this problem. " I'm amazed - for once Telkom is leading the way
 

Johand

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Is there any legitimate WASP / "premium" content out there that isn't some form of scam or ripoff? They should just stop "premium" content altogether.

I am really scared of mobile operators ambitions to become financial service providers. They are going to rip consumers a new one.
 

Moto Guzzi

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Vodacom prepaid customers hit by airtime theft

An industry investigation revealed airtime theft on a mass scale from Vodacom’s prepaid customers, with fraudsters use a gateway developed by the mobile operator to bill victims.

The results of this investigation were provided to MyBroadband on the condition that the source remains anonymous because of the organisation’s relationship with Vodacom.

Yes, high time, my wife's airtime just vanishes from her smartphone(Data, then airtime), so I blocked that way of using it, she waisted a few R100 at least.
 

Titan941111

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My following comment is to provide a more informative source of info rather than this obvious clickbait.

The correct USSD code to dial to view/stop/block/unblock 3rd party WASP/content services is actually *135*997#. The *117# USSD is for welcome tones & other VODACOM subscriptions.

To the clueless people that don't know how to use airtime to it's full potential, many services can be paid for using airtime, these being play store/app store purchases as well as their related in app purchases, and most Microsoft purchases such as office & xbox services & games. Purchases using a vodacom number are better as you earn points from recharging & can buy discounted airtime from some vendors thereby getting a discount on that purchase of office or the game you wanted, and if you simply register a new number instead of using your main one you also protect yourself from potential bank fraud should someone manage to steal your payment credentials as its only a prepaid sim & not your bank account.

Hope many of you learned something new.;)
 

LetsDance

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Just checking balance on prepaid can cause a wasp sting - a message appears with press 1 to continue. Pressing 1 results in a subscribe.
 

NvZ2020

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Vodacom prepaid customers hit by airtime theft

An industry investigation revealed airtime theft on a mass scale from Vodacom’s prepaid customers, with fraudsters use a gateway developed by the mobile operator to bill victims.

The results of this investigation were provided to MyBroadband on the condition that the source remains anonymous because of the organisation’s relationship with Vodacom.
 

supersunbird

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Oct 1, 2005
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My following comment is to provide a more informative source of info rather than this obvious clickbait.

The correct USSD code to dial to view/stop/block/unblock 3rd party WASP/content services is actually *135*997#. The *117# USSD is for welcome tones & other VODACOM subscriptions.

To the clueless people that don't know how to use airtime to it's full potential, many services can be paid for using airtime, these being play store/app store purchases as well as their related in app purchases, and most Microsoft purchases such as office & xbox services & games. Purchases using a vodacom number are better as you earn points from recharging & can buy discounted airtime from some vendors thereby getting a discount on that purchase of office or the game you wanted, and if you simply register a new number instead of using your main one you also protect yourself from potential bank fraud should someone manage to steal your payment credentials as its only a prepaid sim & not your bank account.

Hope many of you learned something new.;)

People who want to pay for things that way can then enable it (Opt in), not everyone opted in by default. The sellers of the product and/or Vodacom can then run advertising campaigns and make it super available on USSD to enable from first screen, not hide disabling it way deep 5 layers down.

Given the fact that not many others know about this ability, it either means the marketing department for it sucks at their job (and should be fired), OR that it is just a way to try to give legitimacy to this mostly scammy and theft ridden payment method.

I'm not gonna load R1200 airtime to buy Microsoft365, there is an added risk of the money not showing (there are complaint threads about airtime purchases not reflecting, so it's an added risk) and then you stuck between a rock (Bank customer care) and a hard place (Vodacom customer care).

And to permanently block such services seems to be *135# > 11 > 1 > 10 > 1 > 3

And Vodacom is discontinuing points from 31 July 2020, hope you also learnt something new ;)
 
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Mekon

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WASPs and related content have NO place in 2020

"Telkom is the only large operator which blocks WASP billing by default on its network and therefore does not have this problem. " I'm amazed - for once Telkom is leading the way
Exactly! Who actually willingly subscribed to the rubbish that is offered? I reckon without dubious tactics there would be no wasps in existence or actually come to think of it this is just a front to fleece many with small amounts of money at a time. Vodacom is an accessory of fraud.
 

2021

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Jan 22, 2012
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This passed week my phone as automatically been opening up USSD type menus, even when locked. I'm worried I pocket dial "accept the R10 per day subscription" - does anyone know how to turn off or block these things (at least when the screen is locked)?
 

GreatWmR

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Jul 7, 2016
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Yea been happening to me
the worst part is that stopping all WASPS services doesn't really block them it just makes a secondary opt - in prompt
for the past month i keep getting prompts saying "ive been subscribed to so and so services but ive blocked these services - would i like to unblock them?"

i've almost accidentally pressed yes a few times because i was typing on whatsapp or playing a game at the time
 
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