Mobile networks warn of payment scams over holidays

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As the holiday season gets into full swing, South Africa’s mobile networks have warned subscribers that there are a number of scams out there that will try to extort money from them.

Vodacom stated categorically that it would never demand payment for any outstanding amounts from prepaid customers.

“We wish to put it on record that Vodacom will never call or SMS prepaid subscribers to demand ‘outstanding payments’ as prepaid customers use the service they’ve already paid for in advance,” Tshepo Ramodibe, Vodacom executive head of corporate affairs, said in a statement.

The scam calls mobile customers and demands money, putting pressure on subscribers to furnish the scammers with banking details or make payments into their account, and then send proof of payment to fax numbers.

MTN has also warned against the same thing, and urged subscribers to contact authorities if they suspect any wrongdoing.

“Should a customer suspect irregular activity, they should alert our MTN Customer Operations via our contact centre straight away. We also reiterate to our customers that they should not give out their personal documents or details such as bank accounts and ID numbers,” said Ike Dube, general manager of Business Risk Management at MTN SA.

He indicated that this sort of criminal behaviour is usually rampant this time of year.

“It is a common occurrence that during this time of the year, syndicates devise multiple scams to siphon funds from unsuspecting customers. As part of our customer education drive on this issue, we always instruct our customers that the golden rule is that if something seems too good to be true, or seems suspicious, then people need to be on their guard.”

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.