Telkom warns against Xmas fraud PDF Print E-mail
The company says customers need to be exceptionally careful over the holiday season.

Telkom is warning all its customers to be aware of fraudsters during the holiday season, saying several scams have once again reared their ugly heads.

Telkom`s group executive for enterprise risk management, Thokozani Mvelase, says customers who suspect they are being targeted should contact Telkom directly. 

The company highlights one scam where fraudsters are pretending to be Telkom`s CEO and telephonically inform customers that Telkom`s banking details have changed. Customers are asked to deposit their account payments into an alternative bank account which belongs to the fraudsters.

The telephone call is usually followed by a facsimile on a fake Telkom letterhead that confirms the false banking details. “A fax, ostensibly from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) then follows, re-iterating that account payments need to be made into the falsified bank account,” Mvelase explains.

According to Telkom, this scam has targeted the company`s corporate customers. “I must emphasise that Telkom does not communicate with its customers via these channels. Our corporate and global customers are advised to contact their respective Telkom Account Managers and/or the Company`s Credit Management if they are confronted with the above-mentioned scenario,” advises Mvelase.

Check the cheque

Telkom says another more concerning scam that seems to have started doing the rounds is a sophisticated cheque fraud system.

The company says fraudsters deposit a stolen or counterfeit cheque into a customer`s account. The deposit is followed by a false letter from the company to say the deposit was incorrect and the customer needs to refund Telkom.

This letter is usually delivered to the customer by hand, but facsimile and telephone correspondence have also been utilised.

“Fraudsters may also claim that the cheque was actually meant for another company such as Eskom or the South African Revenue Services and, therefore, needed to be transferred into the false Telkom account,” says the company.

Call the cops

Mvelase has identified several other, smaller operations that could catch out customers.

The company says to avoid being scammed by the holiday fraudsters, customers should contact Telkom`s centre at 10210 to be sure that any correspondence actually comes from the company itself.

If a letter is delivered by hand with a Telkom ID card holder, customers are advised to take down all the details on the card, so that they can be verified at Telkom itself. The company also suggests that customers should record the car registration details of the person delivering the letter.

“Criminals intent on stealing valuables from homes and offices are attempting to gain entry into these premises by masquerading as Telkom technicians. Bogus technicians arrive unannounced and claim that they need to check on PABX systems, voice or data connectivity,” warns Mvelase.

Businesses and private residents should request to see the identity cards of Telkom technicians. The technicians must also be asked to quote the relevant reference number that has been assigned to the customer for a fault repair or new installation before allowing them onto their premises. People who have not requested any service from Telkom should be particularly wary.

“While we do not want the work of our legitimate technicians to be unnecessarily hampered, should any of our customers be suspicious about anything, they can call the Telkom fraud hotline on 0860 124 000 or their nearest police station to report their suspicions,” Mvelase concludes.

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