The South African Police Service is warning people of a new type of fraud that has emerged. In the past, scammers needed an ATM card or a mobile phone number to empty a bank account.
Now, criminals have implemented a new high tech fraud scam by simply doing a SIMswap. Already, many people have fallen victim to this theft. Police have given South Africans some tips on how they can identify this scam.
This is how it works:
- Your phone’s network will momentarily go off with no signal or connectivity. This will be followed by a call to your handset.
- The person on the other end of the call will tell you that they are calling from your network provider and that there was a problem with the network.
- You will be instructed to press “1” on your keypad to get the network back.
“Do not press it, immediately cut the call. If you do press “1” your network will again be disconnected and your phone would have been hacked. Within minutes your bank account would have been emptied of its funds”.
“It would appear as though you are without network connectivity, but rather your SIM was swapped”.
- This means exchanging your SIM card with them and thereby giving them full control of your account. The danger here is that, you will not get any alert of any transactions, said police.
“When this happens where your network goes off, it is best to reboot your phone, and by doing this it ends the hacking process”.
- Do not answer any calls when your network drops, and if you do inadvertently answer the call, cut it immediately. Report the incident to your bank.
Some important to avoid being a victim of bank card fraud:
- Always check your bank statements for suspicious transactions.
- Shred or burn bank statements, receipts and financial information when disposing of them. Never let another person use your card and do not leave your card or your card details lying around.
- Never divulge your PIN to anyone.
- Make use of the card security products offered when transacting with online merchants. Ensure you only place orders with your card on a reputable and secure website when shopping online.
- Do not send e-mails that include card details such as your card number, expiry date or other details.
- Report any irregular transactions on your bank statements to your bank immediately.
Don’t forget to share this information with your loved ones.