ZAMBIA: ZANACO Xapit suffers major hack, thousands lose savings

A group of fraudsters hacked the ZANACO Mobile Money platform and defrauded thousands of customers of their hard earned money.

The data breach which happened between Friday and Sunday saw thousands of ZANACO customers lose their cash in their Xapit Accounts.

The fraudsters accessed the ZANACO Mobile money system and managed to send unsolicited SMSs using the ZANACO sort code 5000 to thousands of customers informing them the Bank was undertaking an update of its Mobile Money platform following the launch of ZANACO Zee-Wallet.

The fraudsters suspected to have been from Nigeria later followed up phone calls to a number of customers to whom they had sent the SMS prompt and advised them to surrender their PIN codes in order to carry out the upgrades.

Within a few seconds, thousands of customers lost their Xapit deposits after receiving messages from ZANACO that their accounts had been debited.

Investigations have shown that on Friday and Saturday, the ZANACO Call Centre was flooded with numerous complaints from affected customers demanding to be refunded their money.

The ZANACO Customer Services team confirmed that the system had been hacked adding that investigations were underway to ascertain the true value of the cash that was stolen.

A Branch Manager at ZANACO Novarre Pinnacle Mall only identified as Banji advised all the affected customers to report the matter to the police saying “there is nothing that the bank can do.”

Some displeased customers interviewed appealed to the Bank of Zambia to step in and protect the customer.

One of the customers who claimed to have lost K35,000 in one fraudulent transaction after he agreed to update the account said she was saving up to buy a Car and now all her entire savings are gone.

Another customer vowed to close her account with ZANACO saying her money is no longer safe at ZANACO.

“This Bank is irresponsible with our money. How do they allow someone to access their system and start sending us messages regarding an update which we didn’t ask for and they turn around to say there is nothing we can do? This is so sickening and I am closing my Xapit and my fixed deposit with this bank immediately.”