A massive data breach at credit bureau Experian has exposed the personal information of as many as 24 million South Africans and nearly 800 000 businesses to a suspected fraudster.
Experian is a consumer, business, and credit information services agency, whose major clients include several banks.
Experian has confirmed that the breach was reported to Law Enforcement and the appropriate regulatory authorities, the South African Banking Risk Centre (SABRIC) said.
It said 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.
It said 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.
SABRIC CEO Nischal Mewalall says: “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.”
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.
To apply, contact SAFPS at [email protected].