Mobile operator MTN has been under fire in recent months, with the company facing numerous challenges both in South Africa, as well as elsewhere on the African continent. The most recent scandal to rock the company is a SIM swap scandal that has seen a number of FNB and MTN clients losing hundreds of thousands of rands from their bank accounts.
Private Consulting forensic scientist Dr David Klatzkow has told the media of how MTN failed to prevent unauthorised SIM swaps which resulted in fraudsters stealing from FNB clients’ accounts. The expert has claimed that the SIM swap fraud was the result of an inside job.
The bad news is that South Africa is the second most targeted country in the world when it comes to phishing attacks.
Furthermore, the 2015 Columinate Internet Banking SITEisfaction survey found that 55% of online banking customers have been targeted by fraud, while 12% have incurred financial losses due to criminal activity.
First National Bank (FNB) has warned customers in a statement, to be wary of phishing scams. The bank does not accept liability for any losses which occurred due to phishing.
MTN, meanwhile has issued a statement in which it said that it is looking at a number of safeguards to better protect customers from illegal SIM swaps.
One of the victims of the FNB and MTN SIM swap scandal argues that if MTN had advised her about the SIM swap, she could have been alerted that something illegal was about to happen.
How the FNB and MTN SIM Swap Scandal occurred:
- The customer’s phone becomes inoperable while an unauthorised SIM swap occurs.
- Once the SIM swap has been completed, the fraudster is then able to access sensitive details.
- Using the details on the phone, money is stolen from the victim’s bank accounts.
Under normal circumstances, the customer would have been alerted about the SIM Swap, which may be able to help prevent the fraud. The bank would then be able to freeze the customer’s account upon being instructed by the customer.