A MyBroadband forum member has detailed a scam where fraudsters prey on Telkom clients using Facebook to report problems.
The user said he received a response from a Telkom official who requested his contact details after he posted a complaint on Telkom’s official Facebook page.
He provided the details via Facebook Messenger, and received a message from “Telkom Highveld” through Facebook.
The Facebook page was set up to look official, stating it was the Telkom service support centre. They asked: “How can we help?”
The forum member then sent the reference number he gave to the first Telkom official.
Scammer armed with data
He said the scammer came back with all his details, suggesting they had access to Telkom’s customer data.
They informed the client they wanted to process a refund to his account and asked him for his bank account number.
“Slight warning bells going off, but she has all my other details,” he said.
The scammer then claimed the refund didn’t go through and asked for his credit card details.
“Now major warning bells are going off, and I tell her no sorry I don’t feel comfortable doing that.”
She said that was not a problem, and asked him to confirm the last four digits with her, which she read back to him. He then provided the expiry date of his card.
The scammer said they were going to send an authorisation to his phone to accept the refund of R1,545.00 on his card.
When the message came through, it asked to authorise a payment of R15,450.00 to EasyPay Ltd.
The forum member declined the authorisation, closed the chat, and blocked the account which was messaging him on Facebook.
He then phoned his bank, who told him someone had withdrawn R1,000 from his card at an ATM.
The bank cancelled the card and said it would refund the R1,000.
He reported the scam to Telkom, which requested that he submit an affidavit.
The “Telkom Highveld” page has since been removed from Facebook.
Telkom said it is investigating the incident to ascertain whether the scammer had access to customer data.
While not discounting the possibility, it said it is possible the fraudsters linked the victim’s identity through Facebook to another cache of data.
Based on the client’s statement, the scammer had his name, home number, cellphone number, and his credit card number.
Telkom said these could have been obtained through another leak and linked to the customer’s name through Facebook.
“We have also alerted Facebook to the scam and the Telkom Highveld page has been blocked and removed. We urge customers to be vigilant and to contact our fraud hotline on 0800 124 000 to report suspicious interactions,” said Telkom.