The Rapport newspaper has reported that the Hawks may ask the FBI to help to investigate a “massive crime syndicate” which has infiltrated Vodacom and is performing SIM swap and Internet banking fraud.
The report said a document shows that the crime syndicate recruited Vodacom call centre agents to help with illegal SIM swaps.
Vodacom confirmed that an investigation is in progress into an alleged sim swap syndicate.
“Due to the sensitive nature of the investigation, we are unable to provide any further information relating to the investigation at this time,” the company said.
“Crucially, as a result of the investigation, we have already and will continue to proactively enhance security measures and processes to help protect our customers from fraud.”
“We have a dedicated Forensic Services team that investigates all cases of fraud. Where our investigation positively identifies fraud, the incident is reported to the South African Police Service,” Vodacom said.
The newspaper reported that Internet banking fraud has doubled over the last year, with over R200 million targeted in the first six months of 2016.
Earlier this month, Rapport revealed that the Hawks were investigating the possibility that a syndicate gained access to ABSA clients’ online banking details and were stealing millions from these accounts.
According to the report, numerous ABSA clients’ bank accounts were emptied by criminals who gained access.
In all these cases, ABSA said the victims were to blame because they fell for phishing attacks which exposed their online banking details.
However, many of the ABSA online banking fraud victims dispute falling for phishing scams.