The Southern African Fraud Prevention Service’s Manie van Schalkwyk has urged South Africans not to take the recent database leak lightly.
The database was recently revealed to include over 60 million identity numbers – more than double the 30 million identities originally thought to have leaked.
Among the sensitive data (amounting to about 27 gigabytes), the information includes identity numbers, personal income, age, employment history, company directorships, race group, marital status, occupation, employer and previous addresses.
Van Schalkwyk said that he was certain that every South African is on this database – and all citizens should assume that this is the case.
“I warn consumers against attempting to verify if they are on the database or anybody offering services like that,” he said.
“You could be leading yourself into further jeopardy by providing somebody else with data with the understanding that you will verify if you are on the leaked dataset. You might provide legitimate information to an illegitimate source.”
He recommended that those concerned about being targeted should instead obtain a credit report from a credit bureau, and check if there are any suspicious transactions.
“Once you realise that something is suspicious, then it is advisable to apply for Protective Registration on the SAFPS website,” he said.
“This will provide the consumer with added security and will alert the credit provider or the bank that the specific ID number has been compromised.”
This service is free of charge to consumers.