Icasa issues warning about SIM-swap fraud ahead of the Festive Season

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Had a life threatening virus not been enough to contend with during 2020, the Festive Season approaching brings with it an increase in crime.

With that in mind the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has issued a warning urging citizens to be vigilant as regards SIM-swap fraud.

“SIM-swap fraud usually starts with a fraudster making a false representation through the use of technology to gain access to the consumer’s personal information,” Icasa explained in a press statement.

The authority also outlined a number of ways that you can tell if you have fallen victim to SIM-swap fraud.

The biggest indicator is if your smartphone suddenly loses signal. While this could be as innocent as a tower going down nearby, it is definitely worth checking up on if you are unable to receive a signal after a few hours.

South Africans were also given the following advice in a bid to mitigate the risk of SIM-swap fraud:

  • Don’t share access to your mobile phone with an unknown person
  • Don’t respond to competition SMSes or MMSes you receive
  • Avoid buying a SIM from street vendors during this period

Icasa also reminded network operators that they are required, by law, to ensure the protection of their subscribers.

“Consumers are advised to lodge formal complaints against any licensed network operator who fails to follow all the necessary steps and requirements to ensure the safety and protection of consumers. The process for complaints handling includes lodging a complaint directly with the service provider for resolution, failing which the matter must be escalated to ICASA for intervention on consumer[at]icasa[dot]org[dot]za,” Icasa added.

A healthy dose of suspicion will serve you well over the next few weeks. Be safe out there folks, cybercriminals can be incredibly crafty at all times of the year and right now they will be looking to play on your heartstrings and the fatigue we’re surely all feeling right now.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.