South Africa: Cybercrime - How to Protect Yourself From SIM-Swap Fraudsters

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Information leaks by shady hackers, increased use of online banking and a rise in e-commerce activity could lead to a rise in SIM-swap fraud - although South African banks say they've already recognised the threat.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

A user from a low-level hacking forum published the personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users online earlier this month.

This massive information leak could lead to an increase in SIM-swap fraud, says Pieter de Swardt, country manager for global fintech company Entersekt.

"One of the spin-off effects of Covid-19 has been the increased use of digital platforms, not just banking but also e-commerce. Entersekt encourages clients, not just banks but also commercial websites, to move away from the use of SMS one-time pins [OTPs] as a means of verifying a transaction. An out-of-band solution is preferable because you don't have to type any information back into the channel... Typically, an OTP has to be typed back into the site you are transacting on or, if you opt to do an instant EFT, you have to type in your online banking details," he says.

Banks seem to have recognised this threat and are moving...

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