Free website to stop Cipro fraud - TechCentral

Free website to stop Cipro fraud

Colin Day

Online search company WinDeed has come up with what it thinks is a solution, at least in part, to the fraud problems plaguing the Companies & Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro).

In the past year, fraudsters have hijacked a number of high-profile companies, including Kalahari Resources, leaving SA business owners concerned about the security of their assets.

Now WinDeed has launched a website, CompanyAlert, that notifies registered users via e-mail of any changes in the Cipro database.

WinDeed has access to several public databases that it downloads on a daily basis, the most popular of these being those belonging to the SA Deeds Office and Cipro. CEO Colin Day says users can register at CompanyAlert, allowing them to be alerted as soon as any changes are made.

Day says the idea came to him one morning while listening to a security specialist discussing the matter on radio. “He suggested the best way to protect companies from becoming victims of these kinds of attacks was to check the information on Cipro regularly.”

However, that wasn’t a practical solution. “Since we already had access to the database, I thought we could use it to help SA companies keep track of any changes in a much easier way,” says Day.

“In the event of identity theft taking place, companies can act immediately to limit any material damage by contacting Cipro, their bank and the police,” says Day.

Day says although CompanyAlert can’t actually prevent the fraud from taking place on Cipro registrations, early detection can save a company many hassles in the long run.

“Fraudsters have used illegitimately updated details to set up new bank accounts and then illegally claim tax rebates from the SA Revenue Service or invoice the company’s creditors with phony bank account details,” he says.

With early alerts, these scams can be prevented. Best of all, the service is free.  — Candice Jones, TechCentral


  1. How does WinDeed get access to these databases (Cipro and The Deeds Office) and Who else has the right to access these databases? I have also notice a lot of Gated communties/ Estates using the biometric access control that compares a visitor fingerprint to a database which one thought belongs only to Home Affairs. Its becoming scary as its seems these confidential data is freely accessible.

  2. Hi Joshua,
    You appear to be, rightly, concerned about personal data privacy. However, much of the information held by the Deeds Office and CIPRO is in the public domain and is freely (well, readily) available. So in answer to your question “Who else has the right to access these databases?” Everyone does. WinDeed has no relationship with either the Deeds Office or CIPRO beyond that of customer – we buy data from them. Home Affairs, now that’s a different matter. They don’t sell their information (not to us anyway) and it is, I believe, regarded as confidential.

  3. How would a member remove himself [resign] from a cc and pass on his 50% to the remaining member without the knowlege or signature of the remaining member. It is sort of reverse hijacking!!!

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