Although Scamicide is written in the USA, many of the scams about which I report are universal in nature and are perpetrated upon unwary victims in every country on Earth. I will on occasion also report about specific scams,identity theft schemes and cybersecurity issues that may be limited to a particular country both in order to help people in countries outside the United States as well as to serve as warnings to people in the United States and other countries not directly affected by the particular problem.
Today’s Scam of the day involves a data beach at Experian in South Africa where the personal information of 24 million South Africans was compromised when Experian was recently hacked. We don’t yet know how the data breach occurred. As more information becomes available, I will let you know. Experian, like Equifax and TransUnion, the other major credit reporting agencies gather tremendous amounts of personal information on consumers that is used by banks, retailers and others for a wide variety of reasons including determining whether to grant credit to someone. I am sure all Americans remember the massive Equifax data breach that occurred in 2017 and affected 148 million people (including me)
The South African Banking Risk Centre (SABRIC) advised South Africans who may be victims of the data breach “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. Consumers wanting to apply for a Protective Registration can contact SAFPS at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
This incident can also serve as a reminder to Americans to protect themselves from similar breaches of credit reporting bureaus in the United States by freezing their credit if they have not already done so.
To get the maximum protection from identity theft, it is important to freeze your credit at each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Here are links to each of them with instructions about how to get a credit freeze:
Once you have frozen your credit, be sure to keep the PIN and information on how to unfreeze your credit report in a safe place.