Fraudsters stole R8,453.44 from an MTN subscriber in a Me2U Money scam where criminals bypass bill limits to maximize their takings.
This is not an isolated incident. Other MTN subscribers have also complained about fraudulent Me2U Money transactions occurring on their accounts.
It is currently unclear how widespread this fraud is and whether MTN has been able to address the weaknesses in its systems.
To explain what MTN subscribers should look for, one of the victims spoke to MyBroadband on condition of anonymity.
He said he received a “Usage Details” document with his usual MTN invoice in May. This did not happen before.
Contained in the new “Usage Details” document were Me2u Money transfers of R200 (R173.91 + VAT) per day. These were all fraudulent transactions.
The screenshot below shows the fraudulent Me2U Money transfers on the MTN subscribers’ account for two weeks in April.
“A number was clearly added to my account without my knowledge or approval,” he said.
A debit order, which included Me2u Money transfers, went through a few days before he received the bill. It was therefore not possible to stop the debit order.
What is of particular concern is that there is a bill limit of R500 on the account. “This was clearly ignored by MTN,” he said.
Apart from bypassing bill limits, the criminals also seemed to have been able to bypass MTN’s Me2U limits.
MTN’s Me2U website states “You can also receive up to R200 per day and R1,000 per month”.
In this case, however, the number received thousands in Me2U airtime – well above the R1,000 per month limit.
The victim reported the fraud to MTN on 6 May and was promised it would be resolved in 3 to 5 business days. This did not happen.
He called MTN again on 10 May and was told the return date for the case was 09:30 on 11 May 2021. He called again on 11 May and was told the case was still open.
He once again asked MTN how he could be billed thousands when there is a bill limit of R500 on his account, but the company did not provide an answer.
MTN did not contact him, as they promised, until MyBroadband asked for comment regarding the fraud on its network.
After the victim realized he was a sitting duck for criminals on MTN’s network, he changed his payment method to cash.
“Clearly MTN’s anti-fraud and bill limit features are inadequate, to say the least,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, MTN said it is investigating the case and “can confirm that this was an incident of fraud”.
MTN SA’s executive for corporate affairs, Jacqui O’Sullivan said they could not provide further details until the investigation is completed.
“We have apologised to our customer for the concern and inconvenience caused and we are in the process of refunding that account,” MTN said.