South African telco suffers SIM swap fraud

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MTN Group and Absa Group have set up a task team that will keep watch on SIM swap fraud and establish new methods to clamp down on it – Gadget reported.

The creation of the task team comes after an urgent meeting between MTN and Absa executives following a spate of SIM swap fraud cases.

A SIM swap allows mobile network operators to issue customers who have lost their phones with new SIM cards, but port the same number.Fraud

Earlier this month, it was reported that Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman had R360 000 ($37,000) fraudulently removed from her Absa home loan account.

Following the report, a flood of readers related similar accounts of falling victim to SIM swap fraud and in many instances being conned out of hundreds of thousands of Rands.

Eddie Moyce, customer relationship executive at MTN, told the publication: “Protecting our customers means tightening up our systems development to both improve security and service delivery.”

The report said the task team had instigated security measures such as “an improved authentication process when carrying out a SIM swap”, which in the future would include a “SIM swap delay until the legitimate customer has confirmed the request via SMS”.

The task team will hold weekly meetings to identify further areas of improvement.

“We are working tirelessly with MTN and the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) to ensure that the systems and security are comprehensive and robust.

“Collaborating with MTN on reaching a joint solution has allowed us to tighten the screws on this method of eCrime,” Adrian Vermooten, head of Absa Digital Channels and Payments, was quoted as saying.

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