GOSPEL singer, Deborah Fraser, has become the latest victim of cellphone number hacking.
She follows right behind another gospel star, Rebecca Malope, who also fell victim to this scam that seems to be making its rounds in celebville.
Hackers do this in an attempt to get cash from her fans. Unfortunately, some of the caring fans and friends fell into the trap and gave out their money thinking they were helping their beloved Deborah.
Deborah was in Ireland for a series of performances there when she received an SMS from Vodacom – her network provider – that she was changing her SIM card. She said she tried to contact the number that came with the SMS but it didn’t go through until her phone stopped functioning.
“I was still in the UK when the promoter told me he’s been told I’m in financial need back in SA. When more calls came through I sent a warning through Twitter that I’ve been hacked and people shouldn’t respond to what was asked of them. Unfortunately, some people have sent money through e-wallet to these scammers already,” Deborah said.
Now the singer says she’s angry with Vodacom: “They were so quick to give my number without questions and when I tried to have the number blocked they were not helpful,” she said.
“This didn’t only rob people of their money – it’s also ruined my life and my reputation. People think I go around begging for money.”
Vodacom said they have investigated the matter and indeed fraudulent SIM swap took place.
“Following this, the customer reported the fraudulent SIM swap to Vodacom and we reversed the swap. As a security measure, we made a note of the earlier fraudulent SIM swap on the customer’s account to mitigate future attempts. We have since worked with Deborah to unlock the number which is now active,” said Tshepo Ramodibe, Executive Head: Corporate Affairs.
“As a company, we’re always looking at new ways to protect our customers. Accordingly, we encourage customers to never ignore a SMS message alerting them to a pending sim swap request on their account. Contact your service provider immediately to confirm that all is in order.”