The multinational customer credit reporting company, Experian South Africa reportedly suffered a massive data breach last Wednesday, August 19, 2020, this is an isolated incident in South Africa.
While Experian did not disclose the total number of impacted users, according to the South African Banking Risk Centre. A total of 24 million South African people information and 800,000 business entities data were acquired by a Cybercriminal that pretended to be a legitimate client that requested data from the Experian. According to their investigation, the suspect intends to utilize the data acquired for marketing leads in offering insurance and credit-related services.
The leaked personal information includes first name, last name, email address, and ID number, but fortunately, there is no credit, or consumer financial information was acquired according to Experian.
They have also confirmed that the Experian South Africa Bureau’s infrastructure, systems, and database remained intact and have not been compromised.
According to South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), if you suspect that your identity was compromised, make sure to apply immediately for a free Protective Registration listing with Southern Africa Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) by contacting SAFPS at email@example.com or by sending SMS the word “Protected” to 43366. This will help alert SAFPS members, which includes banking institutions as well as credit providers, that an individual’s identity has been compromised, and an additional precaution will be taken to make sure that they are in a transaction with the legitimate identity owner. Experian also advised to anyone who may have concerns to check their credit report regularly for free through www.mycreditcheck.co.za.
Here are some other recommended precautionary measures to follow:
- Avoid disclosing sensitive information such as passwords and PIN when asked by someone over the phone, email, or text messages.
- Make sure to change your account password with strong passwords and never share them with anyone.
- Only verify the request for personal information from legitimate parties
Experian is a credit reporting partner to financial services in South Africa to help institutions in creating credit and loan decisions. The Credit Bureau receives information from all of the creditors as well as data from public records, including property, court, companies, and Intellectual Property records.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland operates in 37 countries. It reportedly has a US$5.179 billion revenue in 2020, Experian is the world’s most prominent credit data firm. It generates credit reports based on consumer borrowing patterns, which are being used by banks and retailers.