MTN warns of syndicate targeting business customers
14 June 2019
MTN Business says it is aware of an on-going fraud issue where customers are being targeted by a syndicate of scammers.
In a statement sent to customers, the company said that members of the syndicate are posing as employees of MTN Business and convincing customers to hand over sensitive personal information.
“Please be cautious and know that MTN will never contact you to request a One Time PIN (OTP) to make security or transactional adjustment on your MTN account.
“Should this happen, you can report it to firstname.lastname@example.org,” the company said.
SIM-swap fraud also on the increase
Telecoms customers remain a popular target for South African scammers, with SIM-swap fraud incidents in South Africa has doubled in the past year, according to cybersecurity experts from Kaspersky.
SIM-swap fraud happens when someone convinces your mobile operator to switch your phone number over to a SIM card that a criminal possesses. In some cases, there are carrier’s employees working together with criminals.
By diverting your incoming SMSs, scammers can easily complete the text-based two-factor authentication checks that protect your most sensitive accounts in financial services, social networks, webmail services and instant messengers.
“Despite financial inclusion services prospering, the flip side to this is that it opens up a world of opportunities to cybercriminals and fraudsters who are using the convenience a mobile phone offers to exploit and poke holes in a two-factor authentication process,” said Fabio Assolini, senior security researcher of Kaspersky Lab.
Assolini said that the total money lost in the attacks varies by country and there are extreme cases, such as one in the United Arab Emirates, where one victim lost $1 million (R14,45 million), while in South Africa one victim reported losing $20,000 (R289,000).