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Experian Credit Bureau data breach

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Dear Customer,

The South African banking industry has been made aware of a data breach within the external Credit Bureau, Experian. With our banking partner, ABSA, we are taking proactive steps to protect our customers and ensure the matter is dealt with promptly. Kindly refer to media statement issued by SABRIC and the SAFPS.

Experian is one of South Africa’s largest Credit Bureaus. Financial institutions use Bureau information to assess clients’ credit status and debt commitments when applying for credit. When credit applications are made, clients consent that their information will be shared in a secure manner with Credit Bureaus.

Criminals will approach unsuspecting consumers via email, phone or text message and present themselves as members of a reputable organisation. They will attempt to deceive unsuspecting consumers into disclosing their security information such as PINs, online passwords, card CVV number, OTP, and/or authentication messages (RVN/TVN/SureCheck). Never share these details with anyone and report suspicious behaviour immediately.

Fraudsters might also try to influence your rational thinking by causing excitement, distress and urgency. The table below reflects the possible threats and how to respond to the threat:

Possible ThreatResponse
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunityIf it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Do not participate
It is urgent and requires swift actionPause and think before you respond. Consult a trusted party
Out of the blue contact to offer you opportunities you have not asked forAlways question surprise calls from unknown parties
You have to download software or materialNever download software or material on instruction
It requires your electronic approval (online approval or OTP)Never approve anything unless you’re transacting
It requires advanced payments/depositsDo not make advanced payment/deposits to strangers

Should you notice any suspicious behaviour, email us on queries[at]wfs.co.za

Regards,

Woolworths Financial Services

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