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Scammers are always thinking of new ways to con people, which is why it’s important to always be alert. Here are the top five scams on the list at the moment.
1. You’re a winner!
We all dream of winning the lotto or some other big reward, and con artists are well aware that we’re very willing to click on links or provide information to receive a prize. Here are some of the main traps to look out for. DO NOT supply any information if you believe it could be one of these scams!
- You have won a prize or money from Vodacom. If you’re asked to make a contribution to a charity or to provide someone’s contact or banking details by someone claiming to be from Vodacom, exercise extreme caution and contact Vodacom directly to verify that you have really won a competition.
- Recharge voucher scam. Do not purchase and/or provide any airtime vouchers or recharge PINs if someone claiming to be from Vodacom says you must in order to receive your winnings.
- The Voda power draw ‘Lottery’ scam. Do not respond to an email saying you have won money in a Voda Power Draw Lottery. This is a phishing attempt to gather personal information.
- RICA lottery prize. This SMS will state that you need to make a payment to cover bank charges in order to receive your prize money. Fraudsters may phone you as well, but do not give in to the harassment.
- Nokia Promotion scam. Another SMS scam claims to represent a Nokia Yearly Promotion. However, Vodacom has confirmed with Nokia that no such campaign exists.
- FIFA Mobile Draw scam. FIFA has also been targeted with a fake competition. Do not respond to an SMS that says you’ve won money in a FIFA Mobile Draw.
- Phones for ‘FREE’ hoax. This email message says that if you forward an email to a specified number of recipients and copy in a ‘marketing manager’, you will receive a free product. There is an ever-evolving number of these hoaxes to be aware of.
- Lottery Scam. This will also require you to supply your personal information to claim your prize. The particulars of these scams differ from place to place and fraudster to fraudster and sometimes con artists even use the names of authentic lotteries or real companies. Regardless of who it comes from, always be wary of any communications asking for personal or banking information.
2. Mysterious missed calls
These scams are called ‘Wangiri Fraud’, which literally means ‘one (ring) and cut’ in Japanese. Do not return any unexpected international phone calls or respond to any WhatsApps requesting that you call a specified international number. These calls are routed to premium-rated international numbers that incur high costs even when the calls are terminated after only a few seconds.
Also, be wary if you have International Calling activated. If your phone is lost or stolen, fraudsters may call, divert or forward your number to an international switchboard that will reroute calls to your SIM card. This can result in large amounts being charged to your account.
3. Social media complaints
Be wary when complaining online or on social media platforms. Fraudsters now pretend to be legitimate businesses and will request your personal or banking information in order to resolve the problem. Do not provide this information, regardless of whether they tweet you, send a private message or even phone you personally.
4. Unrequested SIM swap
You may receive an email claiming that a SIM swap request has been received for your contact number. These messages contain fraudulent links and will request you to click on the link to cancel the SIM swap. Do not click on any links nor respond to the email.
5. Do you want free airtime?
These SMSes will inform you that all you need to do is dial a USSD code or authenticate your personal and account details to receive free airtime. When you do this, airtime will actually be transferred out of your account.
You can report any scams and hoaxes to us by filling in this form.