Experian CEO Ferdie Pieterse says that the business and credit information services agency was “in no way, shape, or form” hacked. This comes after the company confirmed that the personal information of nearly 24 million South Africans was breached.
Pieterse adds that none of their systems, databases or records was ever penetrated or hacked. Instead, the fraudsters used social engineering tricks to present themselves as a legitimate Experian client, this resulted in the “release of information which is provided in the ordinary course of business or which is publicly available” – potentially including First and last names, ID numbers, Telephone numbers, Physical addresses, and Email addresses.
The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) says that “Banks have been working with Experian and SABRIC to identify which of their customers may have been exposed to the breach and to protect their personal information, even as the investigation unfolds.”
While Experian maintains that no consumer credit or consumer financial information was obtained by the fraudsters. “Our investigations do not indicate that any misappropriated data has been used for fraudulent purposes.”
“As a precaution, we advise anyone who may have concerns to regularly check their credit report.” South Africans can do this for free by visiting www.mycreditcheck.co.za.
If you’re concerned that your information has been compromised:
1. Update your digital banking passwords immediately
2. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity across your accounts
3. Do not share ANY personal banking details or OTPs with anyone via email or telephone
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