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News Room

BREAKING: New PIN Scam To Hit MTN Users

Melissa Cohen
2018-01-31
MTN users are required to refrain from providing anyone with their One Time PIN number. This comes after a new PIN scam surfaced in SA.
MTN has yet again made it into local news. The local service provider has warned customers of a 'One-Time' PIN scam that is threatening users' privacy. Scammers are contacting users and requesting for their One Time PIN number. Thereafter, the perpetrators are accessing customers' personal details. This is not the first time that MTN customers have been warned of a scam. Last year, the cellular giant experienced a SIM swap scam.
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MTN's OTP Scam

The One-Time PIN(OTP) scam is one of the many scams that MTN has faced over the years. These fraudsters are sending texts or calling customers requesting for their OTP. Once the perpetrator has the PIN, they are able to gain access to the customer's personal details. Once access is gained, perpetrators purchase data and airtime off the customer's account and then transfer this to their own device. MTN said in a statement that they do not contact their customers for their OTP. "MTN wishes to remind its customers that it will never contact a customer via text, email or telephonically, to request access to a one time PIN, or to any other personal information." Many scammers have successfully scammed MTN customers, claiming that it is part of the MTN promotion. MTN confirmed that customers mustn't fall for that. All promotions are broadcast over various media forms.

New Security Features 

Amidst all the scamming which has been affecting MTN users, the network provider has confirmed that they have amped up security. MTN has recently launched a bio-metric fingerprint system to secure the identity of contract users. Users are required to use their unique fingerprint when they make online transactions. The following actions are secure with the fingerprint:
  • Applying for new cellular contracts;
  • Applying for an additional SIM card;
  • Performing an upgrade or SIM swap:
  • Loading recharge vouchers and services.
MTN explained that they are trying to protect their customers' information against various cyber crimes. These crimes include identity theft, data theft and SIM swap fraud.

Previous MTN Scams

According to a report by local online news source IOL, MTN customers were warned last year about a SIM swap scam. The perpetrators were acting as customer care consultants, requesting security information from customers.
"The scammers phone on the the pretext that they are blocking the processing of a SIM swap request that was made on the subscriber’s number without their knowledge or authorization," explained MTN's Bridget Bhengu.
MTN explained how the scammers used the details to perform a fraudulent SIM swap. The network provider has urged customers to withhold their security details and visit MTN stores if they need to perform a SIM swap.

The Wangiri Scam

One of the biggest scams to hit South African cellular networks is the Wangiri scam. This scam, which originates from Japan, is translated as the 'one and cut' scam. Nowadays, getting calls from random numbers with no one on the other end is more common than not. Last year, MTN, Vodacom and Cell C said that they are receiving an increased number of international unknown numbers calling their users. These fraudsters are smart as they call their victim once and then put the phone down. When the victim calls back, they are charged exorbitant international rates. Many of these anonymous calls come from countries around Africa and Europe. As long as you don't try and call the number back, you won't be charged for their call to you. Many of the local networks have since been able to block these numbers, however there are a few which have not been caught. Have you been a victim of a scam? If so, let us know what happened.
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