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 MTN protects its subscribers through a double opt-in process which was built using two different bearer types (WAP and NI USSD), fraudulent activity continues 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.
MTN 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 the steps below.
- Dial *141*5# and select option 2 (Content Services) and follow the prompts
- Stop all WASP Content Services: Select option 1 (Manage Content Services)
- Stop all MTN Content Services: Select option 2 (Manage Premium Rated Services)
You can also:
- Dial *136*5# and select option 2 (Content Services) and follow the prompts
- Select option 2 (Manage Premium Rated Services)
- Select option 2 (PRS Charges)
- Select option 1 (Block PRS Charges)
You can use the USSD string below to manage premium content subscriptions.
- Dial *464*970#
MTN subscribers can further use the USSD below to view or cancel services, set service limits or block 3rd party messages:
- Dial *155# and select option 1 (View or Cancel) and follow the prompt