19 May 2015 - After an extensive investigation, Wonga SA has ascertained it is being used as a front for an elaborate phishing scam that has seen some consumers out of pocket after falling for the false notifications.
Consumers have become vulnerable to the SMS and email messages with many making contact with the rogues, handing over personal information details in the belief that they were dealing with Wonga. Wonga reported the scam to the police at the very outset and more recently, escalated it to the Hawks for further investigation and prosecution.
A fraud hotline has been launched for consumers who believe they have been the victim of this scam. Wonga Head of Customer Operations, Justin Taylor said the phishing campaign was widespread and commented that everyone from Wonga’s own CEO to high-ranking parliamentarians has received scam messages under the guise of Wonga. “Wonga does not send any unsolicited direct marketing, either through SMS or email, to any consumers in South Africa. The business receives on average 300 complaints weekly from consumers who have been sent the unsolicited notifications by a third party under the auspices of the Wonga brand.”
“While we have posted messages on our internet platforms and taken out adverts warning consumers about this scam, we as a business are going one step further by helping victims restore their good name and credit record. Especially where consumer information has been used in identity fraud, we want to do the right thing,” Taylor said. He added that Wonga, as a responsible business, will remain vigilant on this issue and will continue warning consumers about the scam.
Victims of the scam can report suspicious communications and obtain assistance by contacting the Wonga fraud hotline on 0861-966-424 or on firstname.lastname@example.org