An MTN customer recently contacted MyBroadband after he received a huge bill on his data-only contract.
The customer said his March 2017 bill was R12,714 – much higher than the average R200-per-month amount he was used to.
He looked through the bill and found that multiple international calls had been made on the SIM, despite it being a data-only contract.
“Further scrutiny showed that the majority of these calls had overlapping times and durations. For instance, one call would start at 07:58:08 and last for 09:56 minutes. The following call would start at 07:58:18 and last for 09:46 minutes. This billing pattern follows throughout the entire bill,” the customer told MyBroadband.
In total, 60 hours of calls were billed in a 12-hour window.
International Revenue Share Fraud
MTN South Africa said the matter was under investigation, but confirmed that a SIM swap was fraudulently processed on the customer’s account before the calls were made.
“This is a fraud known as International Revenue Share Fraud, which has grown to become a highly-favoured method of fraudsters for generating money,” said MTN South Africa.
“The fraudsters choose International Revenue Share destinations, normally in a foreign country where calls are charged at exorbitant rates, and join hands with some International Premium Rated Number providers to artificially increase traffic on their network and in turn share profits.”
“These calls will be generated from the customer’s line for as long as the authentic owner of the account remains unaware that the fraudsters are generating premium calls using their line.”
“These calls can be done using a modem or electronically generated calling mechanisms, which allows for multiple simultaneous calls. Usually, the receiving number is also an Interactive Voice Response number, which is capable of receiving multiple calls,” said the operator.