Telkom Mobile resorting to fraud to get subscribers? iLIVE

09 September 2011 - 19:48 By Abdul Milazi

I just found out today that Telkom Mobile's 8.ta cellular network provider has a fraudulent account opened in my name complete with my ID number and residential address - but with another person's banking details - and my name is spelt Adul. The company cannot trace the sales consultant who opened the account. Smells like an inside job to me.

It is strange in this day and age, where it is legally compulsory for customers to produce their IDs (original, not copies) and proof of residential address to buy a SIM card, that 8.ta was able to open an account in my name without these documents and me being present.

I discovered this fraud when an invoice for R598.16 landed in my post box yesterday. I thought it was one of those irritating marketing offers that I usually throw straight into the trash can. My wife opened the envelope and we almost fell off our chairs when we saw that it was actually an invoice reflecting calls already made for R499.65, plus payment of R571.47 made on 2 September 2011.

My wife called the 8.ta customer care number and reported this fraud. When we enquired as to what ID number was used, we found that it was actually my correct ID number. When we asked what bank account number was given for debit purposes, we found that it was an FNB account.

We phoned FNB fraud division to find out if they have any account opened where my ID number was used, and we were told no they didn't. We were told that the only one they had was for a credit card that was closed in 2003. Since I have never had an FNB account in my life, I assumed it was one of those marketing offerings where you are told that you have a credit card with a pre-approved amount and all you have to do is call a particular number to activate it.

But I digress. We then called 8.ta to trace this fraud back to the sales consultant who opened the account. Deals are required to carry the details of the sales person - it is standard practice to counter fraud and also to find a culprit in case of a botched deal.

To our surprise the call centre manager found that no name appeared in the forms where the name of the sales person should be. This now screamed INSIDE FRAUD JOB said my wife who works for one of the country's largest credit banks and deals with these kinds of fraud attacks on a daily basis.

The call centre manager said we should wait 72 hours while their forensic division investigates. I don't think I have 72 hours while my name is being dirtied. I guess I will have to open a fraud case against Telkom Mobile and its managing executive, Amith Maharaj, tomorrow.

Companies should have systems that red-flags suspect deals like these.

My wife and I still managed to see the lighter side of this event. I have been defrauded by a company who's name sounds like a popular tsotsi greeting - heita.

If you have experienced similar fraud or identity theft, email us at ilive@timeslive.co.za and tell us about it and what is being done by your service provider, if anything.

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