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Vodacom airtime theft through WASP services reported

Have you had your airtime deducted just after recharging? That can be frustrating, and you are not alone. It was reported through an investigation that they noticed a spike in airtime theft from Vodacom prepaid customers. The fraudsters make use of the Vodacom’s gateway to fraudulently bill victims.

The activities have shown evidence that the majority of the SIMs targeted were used in IoT devices and it is impossible for such devices to subscribe to WASP services via USSD or SMS, which was fraudulently done by cybercriminals.

In that case, they bypassed the subscription and the double opt-in requirements for WASP services provided by mobile networks.

Most of the airtime theft that’s been happening occurs through the Vodacom’s Charge To Bill gateway.

‘Charge to Bill is a simple way to pay subscriptions and in-app charges by adding them to your monthly bill. Any premium-rate numbers you call are also charged to your bill.’ Vodafone writes.

However, now rogue WASPs have infiltrated the system and have found a way to fraudulently bill the subscribers.

Mybroadband reported that Vodacom allows WASPs which are not Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) members to bill Vodacom clients. There are so many fraudulent activities that it will take longer than expected to illuminate all the cybercriminals.

Many of the victims are not aware of the fraudulent WASP billing.

Speaking to MyBroadband, Vodacom said they “will investigate any instance where a customer feels they are being overcharged. For this, we need the customer’s MSISDN / mobile number,”

How to block or stop all WASP services on Vodacom

Vodacom has a self-service control system that enables all users to control all the WASPs services that they subscribe to. The system will enable you to block your SIM from all the WASPP services. To initiate the system and block SIM Wasp services, dial the *117# USSD string and follow the prompt.

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