The bandwidth fraud could have affected as many as 44,000 people but Cell C says it has identified only 453 customers who have been affected.
It is not yet known who is skimming the bandwidth off Cell C customers’ accounts, or how they are doing so, but the company says it has lodged a case of fraud with the police and are investigating how this happened.
This bandwidth fraud was discovered when I approached Cell C after I found my data package was not working: It was telling me that I had no bandwidth when I had only used 1040 megabytes of my two gigabyte cap.
A Cell C representative at the franchise outlet I visited told me that I had not renewed my data contract when it expired on January 1, 2012. This was inaccurate: I had a receipt at home showing I had on January 30,2012 paid for two gigabytes every month for the next twelve months.
When I asked how, if I had not renewed my contract, I had managed to use a data package that expired in January up until the middle of April, he couldn’t answer me.
The Cell C staffer then printed a usage report, which showed that April 18 was the last day I used my data package.
The staffer said that I would have to return with my receipt and gave me the contact details of the owners of the Cell C franchise so I could deal directly with them.
As he was giving me the number he said: “Don’t worry there are 44 ,00 other customers experiencing the same problem.”
Cell C spokesperson Karin Fourie confirmed that the company was investigating the matter and had registered a fraud case with the South African Police Service.
“Cell C has identified 453 data customers that have been affected,” said Fourie. “Due to the nature of the fraud, Cell C had to act quickly to prevent any further fraud by suspending the affected data bundles.”
“Those customers affected will have by now received a communication from Cell C and have had their bundles reinstated,” said Fourie. “The fraud was detected early and measures were taken to prevent any further fraud from the identified sources.”
The Mail & Guardian is interested to know if you are a Cell C data customer who has been affected. Please contact Lloyd Gedye on [email protected] or message him on twitter via @isolation
Source: Mail & Guardian Online
Cell C has issued a statement clarifying the fraud issue: Cell C data fraud clarified