Criminals are targeting unsuspecting Telkom customers with the aim of either defrauding them of cash or acquiring their personal details or internet usernames and passwords under false pretexts.
“The latest modus operandi that fraudsters are using to target our customers and the public at large, involves a phishing scam via email,” cautions Thokozani Mvelase, Telkom’s Group Executive for Enterprise Risk Management.
“These illegal activities have been going on for quite some time. After warning the public about them previously, we noticed a significant drop in Telkom customers being targeted. However, some of these activities seem to be on the rise again and we hope that the public will be extremely vigilant about any attempts to defraud them,” he explains.
The scam that has recently surfaced sees fraudsters e-mailing Telkom’s customers the following:
Notification from Telkom SA hard office Account department, Our apologies for the inconveniences, kindly send us your last three months Telkom bills. As there is a mistake over billing (charge) some of our clients.
As well state your last payment paid to us.
Kindly scan the copy and send it back to us by e-mail, if on your mail forward it to us.
Thanks For Your Corporation
The emails appear to be sent from the following email address “email@example.com“.
Investigation has revealed that the said email address used by the hoaxer is linked to a private “Gmail” email account that does not belong to Telkom. The Company will investigate further to locate the actual source of these fraudulent emails.
“I urge the public to be extremely vigilant if they receive emails similar to these, especially if it is followed up with phone calls requesting banking details for refund purposes,” emphasises Mvelase.
“Telkom does not conduct its business this way. We would never ask customers to send us their statements – we have that already. Also, reimbursements are not credited into our customers’ bank accounts. In the event of a credit, Telkom passes it on to the customers’ telephone account for the next month,” explains Mvelase.
He adds that internet users should always be mindful of a wide array of phishing scams. Phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and banking and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Mvelase emphasises that customers must be very suspicious if they receive unsolicited calls or emails. “Remember, usernames and passwords are unique and must be kept confidential at all times. Otherwise, you run the risk of bandwidth theft or outside parties accessing your emails. This becomes extremely serious if access to your mailing system is abused for fraudulent or criminal ends.”
Finally, if members of the public are suspicious or unsure if requests are legitimate or not, they are urged to contact Telkom’s fraud hotline on 0800 124 000 or their nearest police station.