More SIM-swap victims come forward

Fin24 users continue to come forward with their stories of SIM-swap fraud, almost a week after reports about a scam that hit a Cape Town audiologist Gail Jacklin.

Last week, private consulting forensic scientist, Dr David Klatzow, said his client, Gail Jacklin, lost over R200 000 from the scam. Jacklin’s phone went on the “blink” only to be followed by her accounts being pilfered.

READ: Thousands of rands lost in 'FNB, MTN scam'

Klatzow claimed an inside job at FNB and MTN had sparked the scam. However, these two companies have instead blamed external phishing fraud for the incident.

In the meantime, Jacklin told Fin24 on Friday that the situation has left her “emotionally drained” and that she’s lost trust in FNB and MTN.

READ: SIM-swap victim feels betrayed by FNB, MTN

Last week, over 100 Fin24 users also came forward with their tales of SIM-swap fraud which also allegedly extends to other mobile networks and banks.

READ: Dozens of cellphone users hit by SIM-swap scam

But more Fin24 users continue to come forward with their tales of SIM-swap fraud.

Fin24 user Brian wrote:

“In September 2015 exactly the same thing happened to us. My phone went on the blink, with a message that my number was being ported from Virgin Mobile to MTN...this without any authority from myself. We then discovered that our bank accounts had been fraudulently plundered, this over a weekend when there was no help from either the bank or either of the mobile companies. We reported this to the Ombudsman for Banking services, as well as Virgin Mobile, but both have not been helpful in any way.”

Fin24 user Beowulf wrote:

“My father is the executor of my late aunt's estate and her FNB bank account and her business partner's accounts were looted of a couple of hundred thousand rands a month or so ago. Once we discovered this, we then found that my dad's MTN SIM had been changed to a secondary SIM linked to another number. We do have this number, however I presume it hasn't been RICA'd and is therefore untraceable... We raised the matter with MTN and with FNB and both deny any wrongdoing... .”

Fin24 user Michelle has told of her SIM-swap experience:

“This incident happened to me on the February 12 2016. My story goes as follows:

I received 2 SMS messages from Vodacom stating that Vodacom has received a request from me for a new or replacement SIM…and if I suspect fraud I should contact Customer care on 082111…

Before I could call, 'they' (Vodacom supposedly) called me to say that the SMS was sent in error…I didn’t take any note of it because I did not request any SIM-swap etc….and went about my work as usual.

Then when I got home I needed to make a call but my phone stated number not registered, I asked my mom to call my number and someone else picked up…it’s as if something told me go to the ATM and check your account as I use telephone and internet banking…and just as I thought to my horror, my bank account was hacked. They obviously did a sim swap to obtain my OTP (one time pin) numbers, but what confused me was how they manage did get my passwords.

I called FNB fraud line to block my internet and telephone banking. They sent me forms for an affidavit, I filled it in and took it into Tyger Valley branch. Still waiting to date for a response from FNB.”

An anonymous Fin24 user wrote:

“I recently experienced SIM-swap fraud at Vodacom and I think this issue extends far beyond what is being reported. Thankfully no money was taken from my bank account, but a huge bill was run-up on contract. I think both the bank and the cellular providers particularly refuse to take blame for their poor systems and the caliber of staff they employ. If they can't protect us from this type of attacks, they should let their clients know upfront.”

Disclaimer: All letters and comments published in Fin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

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