Industry insiders have revealed that billions in airtime has been stolen from mobile subscribers in South Africa over the last decade.
The airtime was stolen by rogue wireless application service providers (WASPs), which bill cellular subscribers’ accounts without their permission.
While Vodacom has implemented measures to protect their subscribers against rogue WASPs, like double opt-in, fraudulent subscriptions continue to occur.
The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA), which regulates the industry, told MyBroadband that local mobile users are most at risk from overseas-based mobile fraudsters.
These mobile fraudsters find and exploit weaknesses in the system to bill people’s accounts without their permission or knowledge.
Vodacom subscribers – Do this now
WASPA said South African mobile users should be proactive about their mobile subscription services by following the steps below.
- Regularly scan your messaging inbox for messages saying you are subscribed to mobile services.
- Monitor your contract cellphone statements or prepaid airtime balance.
- Proactively check your mobile subscription status with your cellular network.
To ensure that you are not billed by a rogue WASP without your knowledge, follow one of the steps below.
- Send “STOP ALL” to 31050
You can also stop all subscription services by using the steps below.
- Dial *111#
- Select option 12 (Services)
- Select option 9 (Content Services)
- Select option 2 (Stop All)
Another way to stop all content services on Vodacom is to:
- Dial *117#
- Select option 11 (next)
- Select option 5 (Unsubscribe)
The message which follows should tell you if you have been subscribed to any WASP services without your knowledge.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned USSD options can differ for prepaid and contract customers, and could move around if other options in the USSD menu are added or removed.
Vodacom said it is possible to block all future WASP subscriptions by calling customer care (135).