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MANZINI – If you are one of the over 500 000 registered Mobile Money general users or vendor you have a reason to be worried about the security of your money!

This comes after reports that there is a cunning syndicate that has shrewdly come up with a way of ‘cleaning’ empty mobile money accounts effortlessly. This new phenomena was uncovered in Manzini last week, where some vendors became the first victims of the syndicate currently sweeping through the town.

There is a state of panic, especially among vendors, as none of them know when or who would be the next victim. The modus operandi is simple; the syndicate starts by utilising the services of the vendor in order to know the number used for the Mobile Money business.

After securing the number, they then go to another town and begin the process of taking over the vendors’ SIM cards which are used to sell mobile money to the public by SIM swapping them and then withdrawing all the replica watches funds they find within the account. This they do by transferring the money to different members of the public.

 This can only be done after resetting the Mobile Money pin; a transaction that can only be done by members of the Swazi MTN call centre.
Mxolisi Mabuza, a well-known airtime vendor in Manzini, who is also the secretary of the Manzini Airtime Vendors Association, is one of those who experienced this new trend of theft.

Narrating his ordeal, Mabuza revealed that he became aware that his SIM card had been swapped when he suddenly lost the network allowing him to operate as usual.

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