Data breach exposes personal information of 24 million South Africans

Credit bureau Experian has suffered a massive data breach, exposing the personal information of as many as 24 million South Africans and almost 800 000 businesses to a “suspected fraudster”.

This is according to a statement by South African Banking Risk Centre (Sabric), which said Experian has reported the incident to law enforcement authorities and is working with “appropriate” regulatory authorities.

“Banks have been working with Experian and Sabric to identify which of their customers may have been exposed to the breach and to protect their personal information, even as the investigation unfolds,” Sabric said in the statement. “Banks and Sabric have also been co-operating with Experian in their efforts to secure the data and ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.”

It said South African banks have put in place “robust risk mitigation strategies to detect potential fraud on accounts and protect their customers”.

“Banks will communicate with their customers about how they may be affected by the breach and what is being done to protect them.”

“The compromise of personal information can create opportunities for criminals to impersonate you but does not guarantee access to your banking profile or accounts. However, criminals can use this information to trick you into disclosing your confidential banking details,” said Sabric CEO Nischal Mewalall.

Fraud prevention

“Should you suspect that your identity has been compromised, apply immediately for a free Protective Registration listing with Southern Africa Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS). This service alerts SAFPS members, which includes banks and credit providers, that your identity has been compromised and that additional care needs to be taken to confirm that they are transacting with the legitimate identity holder.”

Sabric did not say what data has been compromised. TechCentral has reached out to Experian for comment. – © 2020 NewsCentral Media

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