Experian: Fraudster behind data breach has been identified, stolen data deleted

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre said personal data from some 24 million South Africans and almost 800,000 businesses had been exposed.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The South African arm of credit bureau Experian is investigating a data breach that saw it hand over information to a suspected fraudster.

It said the suspect had already been identified and the data had been deleted.

Experian, the world's biggest credit data firm, generates credit reports and scores based on consumer borrowing and payment habits, which are used by banks, car dealers and retailers.

It said it notified the relevant authorities and industry bodies over the breach and insists "no consumer credit or consumer financial information was obtained".

However, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre said personal data from some 24 million South Africans and almost 800,000 businesses had been exposed.

Meanwhile, the Southern African Fraud Preventions Services (SAFPS) said that should you suspect your identity has been compromised, you can immediately apply for free identity protection.

"This service alerts SAFPS members, which includes banks and credit providers, that your identity has been compromised and that additional care needs to be taken to confirm that they are transacting with the legitimate identity holder," it said in a statement on Thursday.

Consumers wanting to apply for additional protection can contact SAFPS at protection@safps.org.za, or SMS the word “Protectid” to 43366. They will then make contact with you.

LISTEN: Experian suffers massive data breach

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.