Huge Crime Gang Infiltrates Vodacom. Criminals Rule, Citizens Pay, Business Profits and Law is Dead

A huge crime gang has infiltrated Vodacom according to the The Hawks who may involve the FBI to investigate a “massive crime syndicate” which has infiltrated Vodacom and is performing SIM swap and Internet banking fraud.

The Rapport newspaper has reported that the Hawks may ask the FBI to help to investigate a “massive crime syndicate” which has infiltrated Vodacom and is performing SIM swap and Internet banking fraud.

The report said a document shows that the crime syndicate recruited Vodacom call centre agents to help with illegal SIM swaps.

Vodacom confirmed that an investigation is in progress into an alleged sim swap syndicate.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the investigation, we are unable to provide any further information relating to the investigation at this time,” the company said.

“Crucially, as a result of the investigation, we have already and will continue to proactively enhance security measures and processes to help protect our customers from fraud.”

“We have a dedicated Forensic Services team that investigates all cases of fraud. Where our investigation positively identifies fraud, the incident is reported to the South African Police Service,” Vodacom said.

The newspaper reported that Internet banking fraud has doubled over the last year, with over R200 million targeted in the first six months of 2016.

Earlier this month, Rapport had revealed that the Hawks were investigating the possibility that a syndicate gained access to ABSA clients’ online banking details and were stealing millions from these accounts.

According to the report, numerous ABSA clients’ bank accounts were emptied by criminals who gained access.

In all these cases, ABSA said the victims were to blame because they fell for phishing attacks which exposed their online banking details.

However, many of the ABSA online banking fraud victims dispute falling for phishing scams.

Hawks are investigating the possibility that a syndicate gained access to ABSA clients’ online banking details, and are busy stealing millions from these accounts.

According to the report, numerous ABSA clients’ bank accounts were emptied by criminals who gained access to their account details.

In all these cases ABSA said the victims were to blame, because they fell for phishing attacks which exposed their online banking details.

However, many of the ABSA online banking fraud victims dispute falling for phishing scams.

In one case, where R2 million was stolen, the Rapport investigation showed that the theft may have taken place from an IP address located at the ABSA head office.

ABSA denied responsibility, and only refunded the client 50% as a goodwill gesture. She is now suing the bank for the rest of the money which was stolen.

Her case, Rapport said, is part of 36 similar cases which all involved the money being transferred to a Capitec account, and where SIM swap fraud took place.

How criminals steal money from your online bank account

While the methods used to steal a person’s banking details may differ, the process followed by fraudsters to steal money from online banking users in South Africa is nearly always the same:

  1. Get the person’s Internet banking details, typically through a phishing attack (email pretending to be from a bank).
  2. Get a banking account/s to which money can be transferred to and withdrawn.
  3. Clone the SIM card used by the person.
  4. Create beneficiaries (using the list of banking accounts) and transfer money to these beneficiaries.
  5. Withdraw the money from these accounts.

In each of these steps the criminals can exploit different weaknesses in the system to achieve their goal.

The infographic below provides an overview of how online banking fraud happens, and what users should do to stop their online banking details being compromised.

internet-banking-and-sim-swap-fraud

 

Rapport


See also: What to look for in banking phishing email scams to prevent being robbed. 


 

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