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Avoid SIM card fraud and phishing

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In recent months the Elsburg SAPS have dealt with a large number of fraud cases involving SIM swops and victim’s banking details being obtained through their cellphones.

In light of this Const Daphney Phooko, the communications officer for the Elsburg SAPS, together with her team have put together tips on dealing with SIM card fraud and phishing.

Avoiding SIM card fraud:

• If you receive an SMS stating that a SIM swop request is pending on your account, get in touch with your service provider immediately.

• If you receive a call from a person claiming to be from your network provider’s customer care centre telling you to switch off your phone, do not switch it off as this is a trick by fraudsters to do a SIM swop without your knowledge.

• If someone calls you claiming to be from your service provider, telling you to ignore an SMS about a pending SIM swop request. Don’t ignore it, follow up on it.

• If you suspect SIM card fraud, tell your service provider to deactivate your SIM card immediately.

• How do you know if your SIM card has been swopped? In two ways – you won’t receive SMS notifications from your bank and you won’t be able to make or receive calls or messages.

Don’t get phished:

• If you receive an unexpected email or SMS from your bank, no matter how genuine it looks, be suspicious. Call your bank’s customer care centre to confirm the contents of the message.

• Don’t respond to the unknown emails or SMS messages, and don’t click on any links.

• When you need to log into your internet banking, always do so by typing the address directly into your browser, not by following a link.

• Don’t do your internet banking on a public computer, for example at internet cafés.

• If you encounter an unprotected, free Wi-Fi spot, don’t log into it – a scammer could have set it up in the hope that they can obtain personal details from you while you’re using it.


• Your smartphone or tablet contains valuable information that fraudsters would love to get their hands on. Password-protect your devices and set the screen to lock after a minute of inactivity.

• Don’t save your pins or passwords for any personal accounts on your device.

• Don’t fall into the habit of using just one password for all of your accounts, use strong passwords, and change them regularly.

“Do not fall victim to such incidents, be alert at all times.

“If you suspect any unlawful or unethical practices call your network provider and report the matter to the police,” said Phooko.


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