Contract fraud is becoming rife in South Africa because of the high incidence of identity theft.
Consumers who discover fraudulent debit orders on their bank accounts face a nightmare of red tape to sort out the problem and avoid blacklisting if they stop the payment.
Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler followed up on a complaint by Johannesburg resident Steven Andrews, who found himself debited by service provider MTN, with whom he had never had an account.
I had a sneaky suspicion that MTN actually had no documentation (for the fraudster). I asked for documentation and they refused. They said the only way they would give me the information is if I got a subpoena.— Steven Andrews, ID fraud victim
I went to the police and I laid a criminal case against MTN, which is not easy to do.— Steven Andrews, ID fraud victim
MTN told Knowler that the fraudster did in fact present the relevant, yet fraudulent Rica information required to open an account. Misinformation had led to Andrews being instructed to get a subpoena.
The case has now been resolved and MTN says it is testing an in-store biometric authentification system, along with mobile and online solutions to limit contract fraud.
These are set to be rolled out at the end of the year.
Listen to the complete discussion here: