Protect yourself from SIM-swap fraudsters!


DIGITAL banking fraud increased by 91% in November last year.

  • This is according to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre.

SIM swaps done by fraudsters have been identified as a major contributor to digital banking and identity fraud.

According to Android Police, SIM swapping, also known as SIM-jacking, happens when fraudsters convince your cellphone network provider to transfer your phone number to a different SIM card.

In a bid to reduce this crime, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) recently proposed the linking of biometric data and SIM cards.

Biometrics are human physical characteristics that can be used to digitally identify a person, and grant access to devices or data.

If the innovation gets approved, Mzansi consumers would have to provide biometric data such as fingerprints, or facial and retina scans to make sim swaps or get new numbers.

While we wait for the government to approve the proposed idea, you can use the following tips to protect yourself from a SIM-swap attack:

1. Protect your phone:

When you safeguard your device, your SIM card and necessary data will be protected. Always ensure that your phone has a strong password and a PIN code assigned to the SIM.

2. Stay alert to phishing calls, emails and texts:

Should you get a random call citing that there’s a problem related to your SIM or number, do not entertain it. Call the service provider yourself. to enquire about the problem you might be experiencing.

3. Avoid sharing personal information online:

Fraudsters spend time online searching for their next victim. Avoid posting your contact details, address, date of birth and full names on public platforms.

4. Buy SIM card in the store:

Lastly, please avoid using SIM cards that are distributed on the streets for vital accounts. Those SIM cards are often pre-registered and they pose a huge risk of fraud.

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