R159,000 stolen in MTN SIM swap scam

The scourge of SIM swap fraud in South Africa is continuing unabated, with an MTN subscriber complaining that scammers stole R159,000 out of four of her ABSA accounts.

Small business owner Susan de Klerk recently said that she purchased an iPhone 5, and the requirement for a nano SIM meant that a SIM swap was needed.

According to De Klerk, she visited an MTN outlet at the “Mall @ Reds” shopping centre for her SIM swap, and the process was completed without incident. However, her new SIM stopped working after around three weeks.

She discovered shortly afterwards that fraudsters had stolen R159,000 from four of her ABSA accounts, and transferred the money to an account at Capitec bank.

De Klerk opened a case of fraud with the police, but it is unclear whether she will ever be refunded.

This report follows numerous similar reports, one of which included Eugene Malan losing R97,000 from his ABSA bank accounts after an illegal SIM swap was done on his cell number.

Hard luck, consumers?

Eddie Moyce
Eddie Moyce

MTN’s chief customer experience officer Eddie Moyce previously told Moneyweb that they are not liable when it comes to SIM swap fraud related to a customer’s bank accounts.

“This is based on the fact that to commit a fraud on a customer’s bank account a fraudster must have a customer’s bank card/account number, Internet Banking PIN and password,” said Moyce.

“Our courts have already held that a SIM swap does not in itself enable a fraudster to commit fraud on a customer’s bank account.”

MyBroadband asked MTN about the latest SIM swap fraud case, but they did not respond by the time of publication.

MTN also did not answer questions on how SIM swap scams work, or what they are doing to combat this problem.

An ABSA spokesperson said that this issue needs a thorough forensics investigation, and that they will provide feedback at a later stage.

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R159,000 stolen in MTN SIM swap scam