New campaign targets South Africa’s mobile operators for data theft

South African investigative magazine, Noseweek, has launched a new civil action campaign targeting the country’s four big cellphone service providers

The campaign alleges that MTN, Vodacom, CellC, and Telkom are illegally charging customers for services they’ve never signed up for through shady third party content providers (WASPs) – possibly raking in billions of rands in the process.

“Mobile phone network providers, in cahoots with a steady flow of shady ‘third party content providers’, many of them offshore, are illegally charging customers for services they’ve never signed up for, raking in possibly billions of rands in spoils, with the lion’s share going to the network providers,” the campaign states.

“It is possibly the greatest theft being committed on the South African population – and Noseweek is taking the fight to them.”

As part of the campaign, affected South Africans have been asked to create a ‘living database’ and provide information on similar fraudulent acts committed against them.

The campaign states that it also plans to lobby both the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority to pursue criminal action against the CEOs, boards and senior management of the South African network providers for allowing this fraud to continue, and to lobby Parliament to review legislation governing the shady third-party providers.

It states that it will also look at launching a class action lawsuit against one or all network providers to help consumers retrieve money taken by WASPS.

Read: Complaints against SA telecom companies are starting to stack up

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