The Southern African Fraud Prevention Centre has cautioned consumers against offering their personal details telephonically to anyone claiming to be a bank representative. This comes after Experian, one of South Africa’s largest credit bureaus, experienced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 24 million South Africans.
The breach has further exposed 730 000 businesses. Absa and FNB have since released statements saying that they would take proactive steps to protect their consumers.
“If suddenly your credit applications have been declined but you are a good credit risk then that should be a sign, and if debt collectors are calling you on accounts that you don’t have then that is the first sign that you have been compromised and that somebody has opened accounts in your name. My second big advise is do not divulge information telephonically, your bank will never phone you to get information,” says Chief Executive Officer of the South African Fraud Prevention Centre Manie Van Schalkwyk.
The South African Banking Risk Centre (Sabric) has urged those that suspect that their identities have been compromised to apply immediately for a free Protective Registration listing with the Southern Africa Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS).
“This service alerts SAFPS members, which includes banks and credit providers, that your identity has been compromised and that additional care needs to be taken to confirm that they are transacting with the legitimate identity holder,” says Sabric in a statement.
Experian has said that the breach been reported to law enforcement and regulatory authorities.