Telkom and Sars have warned the public to beware of fraudsters targeting their clients.
Criminals approach unsuspecting Telkom customers to defraud them of cash or to get their personal details or internet usernames and passwords under false pretexts.
“In the latest modus operandi fraudsters target our customers in a phishing scam via e-mail,” said Telkom risk management executive Thokozani Mvelase.
These illegal activities have been going on for quite some time. After initial warnings there was a significant drop in Telkom customers being targeted, he said.
However, the activities seem to be on the rise again and he cautioned the public to be vigilant.
Sars spokesman Adrian Lackey said the taxman was experiencing the same problem.
“There are lots of different scams, some via e-mail; others via SMS. People should be cautious. Sars will never ask for bank details, credit card numbers, ID number or any other personal information electronically.”
Lackey said that when filing tax returns at a branch or through e-filing, personal information would already be captured on the system.
Banking information should never be given out via e-mail or SMS or even telephonically to someone claiming to be a Sars employee, he warned.
He urged customers to visit the Sars website to be aware of the nu-merous scams fraudsters use.
A recent Telkom scam had fraudsters e-mailing victims with a notification, “Telkom SA head office account department” over billing and a request to send bills of the past three months as proof of payment.
The e-mails appear to be sent from the e-mail address “email@example.com”.
But investigations revealed that this hoax e-mail address is linked to a private “Gmail” account that does not belong to Telkom.
It is now trying to locate the source of the fraudulent e-mails.
Customers must be extremely vigilant if they receive such e-mails, especially if these are followed up by phonecalls requesting banking details for refund purposes, Mvelase said.
Reimbursements are not credited to customers’ bank accounts but passed on to the next month’s account, he said.
Customers must be very suspicious if they receive unsolicited calls or e-mails.
“Usernames and passwords are unique and must be kept confidential. Otherwise, you run the risk of bandwidth theft or outside parties accessing your e-mails to be abused for criminal ends.”
The public can call Telkom’s fraud hotline on 0800 124 000 and Sars Anti-Corruption and Fraud Hotline on 0800 002 870. - The Pretoria News