Beware: South Africans are falling victim to cellphone porting scam

Customers at risk after scammers commit fraudulent SIM swaps

Arthur Goldstuck, a commentator on ICT and mobile communications, has blamed service providers for not having measures in place for a security issue which was raised years ago.
Image: 123RF/Nonwarit Pruetisirirot

Service providers have been blasted for not having proper security measures in place to protect the identities of their clients.

This after several cellphone users from different service providers fell victim to identity theft in a number-porting scam.

The online crime sees fraudsters transfer clients’ cellphone numbers from their  network service provider to another without the clients’ knowledge.

In one instance, an MTN user received a SMS on Saturday afternoon confirming that a porting request was being processed on his cellphone number.

“The port request has been received and is now being processed,” the message from the service provider read.

When phoning MTN to report the matter, the call centre told him the porting department was open only on weekdays.

On Monday morning he was lucky. He was informed that the porting request had been declined because he was on contract.

A Cell C user was not so fortunate.

Nonkululeko Njilo told TimesLIVE she received an SMS on Sunday evening that an application to port her number was successful.

Her number was ported to MTN without her authorisation.

Read more of the story on TimesLIVE




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