Extensive data collection and analysis has lead to the Paris-based anti-fraud firm Evina determining that one out of every three mobile subscription attempts in South Africa is fraudulent.
South African cellular users are very often subscribed to mobile services without their consent.
After Kenya, South Africa is the African country most affected by fraud that daily fleeces millions from the mobile accounts of cellular users around the globe.
“As Africa’s most advanced economy, it is particularly tragic that South African mobile users are falling victim to subscription frauds that are well managed in many other countries,” says David Lotfi, CEO of Evina.
This when consumers across the globe are under significant financial pressure following the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fraud is not treated seriously enough by the various mobile payment actors and this can be seen in the fact that 31% of mobile subscription requests in South Africa in July were fraudulent.
This is deeply concerning and the solution is not to block mobile value-added subscriptions by default but to manage the problem with better tools and expertise.
South Africans are mostly at risk from a very basic fraudulent mobile activity, clickjacking.
This is a malicious technique tricking a user into clicking on something different from what the user perceives, thus potentially revealing confidential information.
“Clickjacking is a type of mobile-based fraud that is more than five years old and could be blocked very quickly if local market players took this threat seriously,” Lotfi says.
To a lesser extent, South African mobile users are also targets of a whole range of nefarious applications commonly available for app store download and these include everything from flashlight to wallpaper, pedometer, file manager and video maker apps.