SIM-swap fraud cost former Vodacom subscriber Piet Malan a serious amount of money, prompting the operator to explain how it protects customers from this type of crime.
Malan told MyBroadband that criminals transferred over R249,000 out of his bank account after he became the victim of a fraudulent SIM swap.
The fraudsters also racked up a bill on his Vodacom account amounting to over R259,000.
Vodacom said it has since corrected Malan’s outstanding balance, and wanted to use the opportunity to educate customers about how to protect themselves against fraud.
Guarding against SIM-swap fraud
Vodacom said it notifies users via SMS whenever a SIM-swap attempt is made.
If you receive this SMS, but have not requested a SIM swap, you should alert Vodacom about the fraudulent request by calling customer care.
Vodacom also encouraged subscribers to protect themselves as follows:
- Be conscious of your cellphone’s connectivity status. If you can’t make or receive calls or SMSs, you should not assume there is a problem with the network or handset. Contact Vodacom and find out whether a SIM swap has been processed on your number.
- Never ignore a SIM-swap SMS alert. If you receive a message about a pending SIM-swap request on your account, act on it immediately.
- Report calls or messages telling you to ignore SIM-swap SMS notifications. If someone claims to be your service provider and tells you to ignore a SIM-swap SMS notification, immediately report it.
- Deactivate your SIM in the event of an unauthorised swap. If you’ve been the victim of an unauthorised SIM swap, deactivate your SIM with your network.
“In all cases of fraud, we encourage customers to open a case with the police for investigation,” said Vodacom.
“As a company, we support the SAPS with all investigations.”