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Thread: Vodacom sim swap fraud - my personal experience

  1. #1

    Default Vodacom sim swap fraud - my personal experience

    I noticed in the articles recently that Vodacom has been getting attention for sim swap fraud. So, I thought I would share my experience. I want to give people a heads up about (a) the rash of sim swap fraud that seems to be sweeping through Vodacom, and (b) the uphill you're going to have when you try to get someone to do anything about it.

    Basically, someone in their organization swapped one of my (dormant) numbers. Fortunately, I made my main number the master and so I received an sms. I notified them and it took a week for them to even take me seriously, during which time I was promised all sorts of things. Then, out of the blue they suspended all my lines, essentially shutting down my business, and I could literally only call the call center, who could not do anything.So i escalated the case, which got me many more promises and no more action.

    My case has already been escalated to their executive and theoretically receives attention from the office of the CEO. Further, I am what they once called an "Onyx" customer and therefore supposedly due good service.

    Unfortunately not.


    So this mail was from this morning...

    ______________

    Please be aware that I am dissatisfied with the lack of response, the failure to perform promised actions and the general lack of service I have received. Not only has this been evident in the call center, but the same has been the case after I escalated these questions and concerns to your executive. No promises have been kept and the matter remains unaddressed. It seems that it is entirely viable for a range of staff at Vodacom to simply ignore me, after placing me at risk, handing my account details out to stranger and illegally performing sim swaps.

    Here are the basics of my experience, since I notified you of these issues.

    I first notified you of your internal fraud and your governance failure on February 16th, as you can check in the email, sms and account correspondence. It is now the 22nd of March. You are therefore vastly in excess of your own SLA and fraud turn-around time. I have received no correspondence in respect of this "investigation", nor any feedback.

    Secondly, I have provided a list of my questions on a number of occasions. To date they have not been answered, despite a number of people promising to do so. In sheer frustration, I compiled an extensive and complete list in prior correspondence. That has been ignored.

    Third, I have been promised specific actions will be taken, including the correction of my account balances. This has not been done. I provided a dated list of such promises in earlier correspondence. That has been ignored.
    Lastly, I have requested multiple account cancellation quotes. These have not been provided.

    Going forward, I am dealing with this via ICASA, who will receive all correspondence from me, and through public and media sources where available and/or accessible. (Vodacom is currently relevant in this regard, with both sim-swap fraud and internal lack of governance an area of focus.)

    At the same time, I fully maintain my expectation that Vodacom will address these issues swiftly, as our contract remains intact and as such imposes on you an obligation to address all such issues.

    I have now placed a stop on all debit-orders attempted by Vodacom until you resolve this matter, as I cannot trust you not to attempt to extract the results of your internal fraud from my accounts. I am informing you of this well in advance, in order to give you the opportunity to avoid a real and unfortunate stalemate.


    Please provide a reference number for this matter, and advise how you would like to proceed.


    ________________________

    The mail below, was a week ago, when I tried to get anyone to take action:



    Can someone also please urgently explain why, despite extensive correspondence on this subject going back weeks, my current invoice still reflects the amount of R241,188.52 outstanding of which R237,615.24 is the very same internal fraud that I have been asking you to attend to. It is also the same line item that I was previously promised would be removed from my account, and for which you have apologised in writing. Further, to that: I note that this fraudulent amount is now R237 000. When I first requested that this be investigated and stopped and that the lines be closed, it was R165 000. If my lines were closed, as I was told, (a) how is it that this amount has grown, and (b) if this was removed from my account, how is it that it is on my invoice?

    My experience has been as follows:

    1. 17 days ago: I asked a number of questions, as follows:

    How was it possible for anyone to action a sim swap without sight of my identification?
    Once I caught that attempt, and requested that it be canceled, how was it possible - as per Marelise Carelse - for it to be done again? How was it possible for a locked account - locked, as per your call center - to be used by others? Why were my lines opened then suspended again multiple times between the start of this and now? On Sunday night, I was informed that the fraudulent number was active again. How is that possible? Why was this behavior not flagged by your team? Why was the sudden burst of activity on a number that has been dormant for years not picked up internally? Irrespective of whether the user was identifiable or not, these actions occurred after blocks and checks and so on were supposedly placed on my account. Why then were these illegal actions not flagged? Once I had notified you, why was there no default handling or protocol in place to communicate with me, get information from me and ensure my continued safety? As a customer of yours in excellent standing for years, your first priority should be to secure my account on my behalf. Why was I not notified about the next steps, requirements and measures being put in place?
    Why did no-one ever return my numerous calls or send any of the promised emails? Why did this only start getting attention last night when I escalated it?


    I receive the following reply amongst others:

    "We are working through the details provided in your correspondence to us. We will revert shortly."

    Current date: Seventeen days later, I have not had an answer to any of my questions. (Now 23 days)


    2. 17 days ago I receive the following mail:

    "We have added an alert onto your account that will restrict sim swaps, activation of International dialing or roaming on your mobile numbers. Your account will be monitored whilst we are investigating the usage on mobile number 076 *** ****. We will attend to the charges linked to mobile number 076 *** ****, when the next invoice is generated."

    Currently: Invoice is produced with the incorrect charges; Two activations subsequently go through on my line without my permission - I receive no information about their nature despite requesting it.



    3. 10 days ago, on my request:

    "We have requested for a premature cancellation quote to be forwarded to you. I will forward the quote to you within 24 hours."

    Current date: no such quote provided after 10 days. (now 16 days)



    4. 09 days ago, I ask the following question:

    "Please advise why my account reflects as "in arrears" again, on your online portal."

    I receive the following reply: "I have requested for feedback from the relevant team. Feedback will be provided shortly."

    Current date: No feedback has been provided, and the invoice amounts are wrong. (Now after 15 days)

    ______________________


    If anyone is having similar problems, you can PM me and I'll provide you with the correspondence addresses you can route your problem to.

    regards


    d
    Last edited by daelm; 22-03-2017 at 09:51 AM.

  2. #2

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    in short:

    Vodacom staff members, identified as "sales" or "Vodacom direct" actioned a sim-swap on my line more than once, both before and after I reported this to them. I have received a range of answers to queries from them - from ignoring them to apologizing for the errors. what I have not received to date is any explanation of how this happened, why the supposed checks and balances didn't work, whether they exist at all, and any reassurance that my accounts have now been secured.

    i was promised a number of things, but most consistently I was promised that my lines were secure. subsequent to that, the same "direct" etc staff processed further sim,-swaps, my lines were not secured and three times longer than their so-called SLA, no investigation has completed and no feedback has been provided to me.

    be aware that this should be a simple matter of (a) identifying the error through user date and time stamps, and (b) locking the account from further tampering. this is straight forward. it appear that Vodacom can do neither of those things. I suspect, speaking personally, that their internal processes are so poor that (a) they cannot meaningfully execute any such investigation, (b) that their organizational control is so limited that they cannot enforce any of their supposed SLA's - which is why their "investigation" is out of their control - and (c) that their internal governance is nil, which is why they cannot prevent such fraud.

    considering that this happened in the same period of time that a couple of other news articles identified similar issues, I suspect that Vodacom has an internal problem and that syndicates have become more active. Vodacom's responsibility in that regard is to take appropriate action, and apart from anything else, my issue with them is that they clearly haven't.

    caveat emptor. I'll be updating this as we go.
    Last edited by daelm; 13-04-2017 at 11:11 AM. Reason: typos

  3. #3

  4. #4

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    Keep us posted. I'm sure this will gain a lot of attention here.
    Cthulhu for President: Why vote for the LESSER evil?

  5. #5

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    Can't wait for the "technical" explanation of the company rep. Especially considering the comments made in the ABSA SIM swap thread.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagicDude4Eva View Post
    Can't wait for the "technical" explanation of the company rep. Especially considering the comments made in the ABSA SIM swap thread.
    Don't confuse the issue of banks using OTPs as a 2nd-level of authentication - which I wrote about - with Vodacom's apparent inability to service this customer. Which is patently bad.

    The original point stands; if institutions don't use OTPs to help secure their customer's details, there would be no attack on the SIM in the first place. But it's the reality today so we must all deal with it.

    The fact that daelm is getting the runaround is just common or garden [email protected] service. I'll escalate it.

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  8. #8
    Super Grandmaster DA-LION-619's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannievanzyl View Post
    Don't confuse the issue of banks using OTPs as a 2nd-level of authentication - which I wrote about - with Vodacom's apparent inability to service this customer. Which is patently bad.

    The original point stands; if institutions don't use OTPs to help secure their customer's details, there would be no attack on the SIM in the first place. But it's the reality today so we must all deal with it.

    The fact that daelm is getting the runaround is just common or garden [email protected] service. I'll escalate it.
    If we don't drive cars there'll be no hi-jackings.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
    Gulp and grunt is what happens at a BDSM party right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jannievanzyl View Post
    Don't confuse the issue of banks using OTPs as a 2nd-level of authentication - which I wrote about - with Vodacom's apparent inability to service this customer. Which is patently bad.

    The original point stands; if institutions don't use OTPs to help secure their customer's details, there would be no attack on the SIM in the first place. But it's the reality today so we must all deal with it.

    The fact that daelm is getting the runaround is just common or garden [email protected] service. I'll escalate it.
    Spot on. Vodacom failed spectacularly on customer experience in this case.

  10. #10

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by biometrics View Post
    tl;dr version?
    Fraud within Vodacom.

    Authorizing sim swaps without authority.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by DA-LION-619 View Post
    If we don't drive cars there'll be no hi-jackings.
    Weak analogy. Try again.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannievanzyl View Post
    Weak analogy. Try again.
    Imagine the SAPS saying if nobody drove cars there would be no hijackings.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
    Gulp and grunt is what happens at a BDSM party right?

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    Yep...... Vodacom.

    They cancelled my (082) contract instead of my son's sim-only one on the morning of 31 Jan. All data and voice minutes were gone.

    The cherry on top. By 1 Feb they kinda acknowledged their mistake, but told me it would take up to 14 business days to re-instate the contract... and I should buy airtime and data in the interim.

    That same evening my number was ported out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sammi001 View Post
    Yep...... Vodacom.

    They cancelled my (082) contract instead of my son's sim-only one on the morning of 31 Jan. All data and voice minutes were gone.

    The cherry on top. By 1 Feb they kinda acknowledged their mistake, but told me it would take up to 14 business days to re-instate the contract... and I should buy airtime and data in the interim.

    That same evening my number was ported out.
    Hi,

    Please can you post this in your own thread.

    Maybe if there are many threads about the SAME thing VC will start admitting that their system is badly flawed.


    Then jannievanzyl can tell the bosses at VC that the customers are tired of VC crap

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