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Experian: 'If you get a call like this – don’t argue, just put the phone down!'

15 September 2020 9:20 AM

It's haunting; 24 million records have been breached. Refilwe Moloto interviews Manie van Schalkwyk (SA Fraud Prevention Service).

Last month, credit bureau Experian gave a suspected fraudster access to personal information of 24 million South Africans and 793 749 businesses.

South African Identity Document. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/EWN

Related article: 'If 24m records have been accessed - that's most of our working population!'


Cellphone and ID numbers, addresses, banking and work details, email addresses, family relationships… the effects of that breach will haunt us for years to come – identity theft and scams are now just so much easier.

"Identity numbers usually sell for 15c per user,” digital forensic investigator Craig Pedersen told Sunday Times.

“Add banking numbers, and people on the black market will pay up to R25 per record.”

Pedersen says fraudsters sell the same information over and over.

The best thing you can do right now is to regularly check your credit report of suspicious activity.

If you suspect that your identity has been stolen, you must apply for a (it’s free) Protective Registration listing with the not-for-profit Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS).


Related article: How to never-ever fall prey to ID theft… and info about a free service if you do


Refilwe Moloto interviewed Manie van Schalkwyk (Executive Director at SAFPS) about the huge data breach – almost certainly South Africa’s largest-ever – and how to keep your identity and credit record safe.

These fraudsters are stealing data with one thing in mind: to steal our money! They open accounts in our name, or they take accounts over…

Manie van Schalkwyk, Executive Director - Southern African Fraud Prevention Service

Experian… not all information was stolen… Fraudsters give you enough information to give you confidence that it’s really the bank speaking… Through a process… and fear tactics… The moment you compromise enough information – that’s when they take over your account, in minutes!

Manie van Schalkwyk, Executive Director - Southern African Fraud Prevention Service

If you get a call like that, just put the phone down! Don’t argue, don’t get involved in the conversation. They’re trained and know how to deal with consumers. They know how to get the data out – just put the phone down!

Manie van Schalkwyk, Executive Director - Southern African Fraud Prevention Service

… [Protective Registration] the credit provider gets a warning from us when you or the fraudster apply… pause the credit process and add another verification angle… Go to our website… and apply for protection. It’ll take you five minutes.

Manie van Schalkwyk, Executive Director - Southern African Fraud Prevention Service

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


15 September 2020 9:20 AM

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