MultiChoice fights scammers with tech


Phishing scammers have copied information from the real DStv site and are using it to lure subscribers into parting with their details on a fake portal. Pay-television service provider MultiChoice is using various technology platforms to warn customers about a scam phishing mail that is doing the rounds.

The scam is a deviation from the usual phishing tactic, in which banks and the South African Revenue Service are generally targeted. In addition, phishing will escalate as more South Africans become connected to the Internet, says an analyst.

MultiChoice explains the e-mail asks subscribers to share their credit card and identity details through a link to a fake Web site. The e-mail, which uses a forged signature of a MultiChoice employee, says there has been a “discrepancy” with the customer's “billing and payment information”.

The mail asks subscribers to log into the fake DStv Web site to insert their personal password and e-mail address. MultiChoice says the scammers have copied information from its Web site, and it is working with the police to block the site.

The mails were addressed to both MultiChoice subscribers and non-subscribers. As a result, the pay-television company says, the scammers have obtained an external database and there hasn't been a breach of security on the MultiChoice database.

To alert subscribers, MultiChoice is sending out e-mails and SMSes, and is communicating through on-air messages. It is also using its MultiChoice and DStv Twitter accounts, and Facebook and DStv forums, the company says.

The SMS sent out by the company reads: “MultiChoice: there is a scam e-mail asking customers to click on a link and share identity and credit card numbers. If you've clicked on the link & inserted your details, pls cancel your credit card with your bank. If you're registered for self-service on the DStv Web site, pls change your password.”

MultiChoice says it's difficult to tell how many customers have been affected, and how many subscribers may have been scammed. The company says it will not refund clients, as this must be taken up with their bank.