Absa: We mitigated Weideman loss | Fin24
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Absa: We mitigated Weideman loss

Apr 30 2013 18:29
Cape Town – Absa said on Tuesday that it treats fraud committed against any of its customer accounts with high priority and had proactively been able to prevent any further transactions and mitigated further loss on Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman’s account.

Weideman lost R360 000 in what seems to be a hit from a SIM swap syndicate.

Between Saturday and Monday and without her knowledge, an amount of R1.5m was transferred from Weideman's home loan to her cheque account. Before Absa could freeze her account, smaller amounts to a total of R360 000 were transferred to an account in the name of "Badiba Madiba", Die Burger reported on Tuesday.

Weideman said her SIM card would not work on Sunday. “Yesterday (Monday) I asked my assistant to contact MTN, but according to MTN there was nothing wrong.

“Yesterday afternoon I received a call from Absa’s internet fraud unit, who told me that my internet service has been stopped and that money had been withdrawn from my account," Weideman said.

Absa said it was able to proactively identify suspicious activity on Weideman’s account and immediately alerted the customer, froze the internet banking profile and prevented any further transactions, mitigating further loss.
“Absa has contacted the customer and will carry out a full forensic investigation. We can only comment on the specifics of this case upon receipt of the investigators findings.”

Absa strives to keep its customers’ money safe and we treat fraud that is committed on any of our customers’ accounts with a high priority, the bank said.

MTN: Cell firms not liable for bank fraud

Eddie Moyce, chief customer experience officer at MTN SA said on Tuesday said there seems to be a misplaced belief that mobile network operators are liable when fraud is committed on customers’ bank accounts.

“Based on the fact that in order to commit a fraud on a customer’s bank account a fraudster must have a customer’s bank card / account number, internet banking PIN and password, mobile network operators are not liable.

“Our courts have already held that a SIM swap does not in itself enable a fraudster to commit fraud on a customer’s bank account,” he said.

MTN is, however, continuously beefing up its security systems to pro-actively prevent such fraud from occurring, he said.

Moyce said MTN is aware of Weideman’s  case and is currently conducting an investigation and the findings will be communicated directly to Weideman.

While MTN is doing its best, alone and in conjunction with the SAPS, to investigate such fraud, all mobile network operators in the telecommunications industry are faced with SIM swap fraud, he said.

Moyce said MTN supports initiatives undertaken by the various banks to educate their customers of the importance of protecting their bank account details because “it is only though such protection of bank account details that fraud to customer’s bank accounts can be prevented or mitigated”.

*Fin24 received a steady stream of letters from SIM swap victims.

mtn  |  absa  |  sim swap  |  banks


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