Using new media to tackle an old problem
Vodacom today went live with a new tool to tackle the longstanding issue of scam SMSs. By adding a specialised new tab on its Facebook page, Vodacom aims to harness the popularity of this social networking site to quickly and easily spread the word when new scams surface.
Located on the Vodacom Facebook page (www.facebook.com/vodacom), the tab is designed so that Facebook users can submit any SMS scams they have received or simply "plus one" an existing scam. The plus one button is located next to recently added scams and will allow users to note the prevalence of that particular SMS scam. The tab can be used by anyone who has access to Facebook.
"It's great to be able to harness the power and popularity of this new tool to solve an age-old problem. SMS scams have been around for just about as long as the SMS itself has, and up until now getting the word out has relied on traditional media. With this simple solution, we intend to close the window that scammers had to fleece unsuspecting people before the warning could be raised. Most importantly, rather than being driven by the company, this approach uses the combined experience of all of Vodacom's customers," said Richard Boorman, Vodacom's head of Corporate Affairs.
When users enter a new SMS scam on the tab they will need to enter the number from which the SMS came as well as the accompanying message. The identity of the Facebook user is kept anonymous. Once a scam has been submitted it will then be investigated by Vodacom's Forensic Services team who will take appropriate action.
"One of the features of the tab is that all users will be able to see the scams that have been submitted and are under investigation, as well as the scams that have been confirmed and blocked. This facility helps to raise awareness of the different types of SMS scams as well as putting a stop to them at the same time," said Boorman.
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Vodacom notice - Phishing
Vodacom has recently been made aware of some customers receiving fraudulent emails claiming to be from Vodacom and asking for updated contact information. The mails may even look authentic and contain the Vodacom logo and corporate colours.
Note: Vodacom won't ever ask for personal information over email.
These are scams commonly known as 'phishing' and all Vodacom customers should take note of the following before responding to an email from a site asking for personal information.
- Check that the email address and the sender name match.
- Hover over (but do not click) any links to check if the address matches the link that was typed in the message.
- Make sure that the email address or phone number listed in the email is the same as the one that should be on that company's records.
- Does the message start with a generic greeting, like "Dear customer." Most legitimate companies will include the recipient's name in their messages
If you suspect a phishing mail, contact our customer care by dialing 111 from your Vodacom handset. Alternatively, send us an email by completing the Scams & Hoax form.