SCAM: MTN customers duped out of airtime and data


MTN. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg – Network provider MTN has warned of fraudsters scamming customers by asking for an OTP (one-time pin) and using the information to buy airtime and data using their cell numbers.

“Customers are being called and asked for an OTP. Once obtained, the fraudsters are then able to buy data or airtime from the customers’ accounts, after which that data or airtime is transferred to other numbers. This activity is a scam and it is NOT part of any MTN promotion,” MTN said in a statement. 

An OTP is normally sent to a customer across various networks and for various services via SMS. The OTP is sent and requested by a service or company, like online banking, to authenticate or verify purchases or transactions. Provided a fraudster has the number of a victim, they can request an OTP be sent to that number and then call the victim to ask for the OTP. 

Corporate Affairs Executive at MTN SA, Jacqui O’Sullivan said that fraudsters are everywhere and MTN wanted its customers to be protected at all times.

“Our systems are designed to safeguard our customers’ information from crimes such as data theft, sim swap fraud, identity theft and others, but we need all our customers to remain vigilant at all times,” O’Sullivan said. 

MTN said that it would never contact a customer via text, email or telephonically, to request access to a one time pin, or to any other personal information.

Authentic MTN promotions are backed up by advertising on a number of channels including through broadcast and print media, at branded stores, on billboards, in the Y’ello Trader magazine on the MTN website and through our social media platforms, O’Sullivan said.

The company said that it had recently strengthened security with the introduction of a fingerprint biometric solution to authenticate the identity of post-paid [contract] subscribers when they undertake a range of transactions, including applying for a new contract or an additional SIM, performing an upgrade or SIM swap and loading of chargeable value added services.

“MTN aims to protect customers from fraudulent transactions that often originate elsewhere as identity theft. Any business has to stay one step ahead of these criminals at all times and at MTN we will continue to do all we can to best protect our valued customers,” O’Sullivan added.

MTN customers suspecting fraudulent activity are encouraged to contact 0831800, 0831809, 0831808.

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