Vodacom Talking Points Scam




I am so angry at this scam, more so because I almost fell victim for this trap, I received an SMS yesterday from 2782004842237929 at 18:20, the sms read, "Your 4800 points will expire tomorrow! Redeem them now at http://ems.cx/w/?m=xxxxxxxxxxx" the x's represent my cellphone number. My immediate reaction was to call vodacom 082 241 1082, this is the number you call Vodacom to retrieve your talking points, as I am currently on a top up contract I am well aware that I do not qualify for talking point rewards as this rewards program is only available to you if you are a prepaid user which was also made clear to me from the Vodacom Teleprompts. Read more about the talking points rewards system here,
http://www.vodacom.co.za/vodacom/rewards/Talking+Points/Learn+More?selected=2_a2&ciFormat=default&ht=t

So after reading the attached link from Vodacom you would realise that to achieve 4800 talking points, you would have spent R48 000-00 of airtime which in my case is improbable because of the top up plan I am on. Clicking on the link http://ems.cx/w/?m=xxxxxxxxxxx" attached to the sms will take you to another site where you are given a link to redeem your points "http://m.mobmatic.com/ads/jv/points/?m=xxxxxxxxxxx" replace the x's with some arbitrary number like 10 "0's" or "1234567890". Below the SMS is a hidden disclaimer which you cannot see on your mobile, it reads the following

Mobmatic has requested
that your mobile number be
made available. Clicking on
'redeem now' you're
declaring you're 16+ and
accepting terms and
conditions. Mobmatic is an
entertainment subscription
service for just R7/day.
We reserve the right to
send you free promotional
SMS relating to this
and other services operated by
Sprint Media S.L
Support@mobmatic.com
or call 0861106472.


When you click on the "REDEEM NOW " link, it forwards you "System Administrator, WAP Push message" which I believe activates and confirms your subscription with Mobmatic thereby giving them full authority to debit your airtime everyday for a service that you will never use because you do not know you are subscribing to it. www.mobmatic.com is a company in Spain and from what I have read on their site they offer various incentives based on accumulation of reward points.

This type of marketing of a service is coercing people into subscribing to a service that they are not aware of which I am almost certain is Illegal,  Are Vodacom aware of and endorses this service which leverages the sale of their service on the strength of Vodacoms reward system. I think there needs be more discretion with consumer information, this is something out of our control, sites like these 
sell consumer databases to marketing companies, this is how your personal information is passed along to those pesky companies that want to to sell you cellphone contracts all the time. So it doesn't matter how careful you with where and to whom you divulge your personal information to.

Cellphone companies should be held responsible when people fall prey to these scams, as there should be an authoritative standard that governs companies that markets good and services using consumer databases,  consumer databases should only exist for the use of the company from where it was sourced as a means of communication between the service provider and the client. Mobile users do not have spam filters on sms's, one only has the option of clicking unsubscribe or opt out which most people don't do and in most cases when you receive this message chances are you are already subscribing to that service.

At R7 per day it works out to R210-00 per month (The cost of a DSTV package). Be very careful when responding to sms's and always verify with your service provider the authenticity of any messages received from them, you will prevent a lot of headache and save a lot of cash in the process.
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About Sagren moodley

This is my personal space where I geek out on all the stuff that I Love, from technology and entertainment, sports and politics to food and photography. I'm also a bodybuilding, parkour, martial artist..............wannabe. Click on my Mr. Burns face if you want to get in contact with me about writing/photography/Personal training.