Tips that will assist you in not becoming a victim of f raud, according to the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service: Shred all documentation that contains your personal information – do not throw anything away that someone else could use to impersonate you. Always remain attentive at ATMs. Make sure that your online accounts have strong passwords that aren’t easy to decipher. Never respond to an email that asks you to update your personal and banking information by clicking on a website link provided in the content of the message. Be very selective with the type of information that you share on social media sites and make use of privacy settings. Only carry your ID book or passport when it is absolutely necessary, otherwise keep them safely locked away. Do not be taken in by scammers who send messages telling you that you have won a prize, or inherited money. immediately, says Chris Labuschagne, CEO FNB Credit Card. “The bank will investigate the case [all cases are investigated on their own merit] and if the bank f inds that the customer has indeed been defrauded, and it was not due to negligent behaviour such as divulging the PIN, they are likely to be refunded.”
What consumers need to keep in mind is that there are procedures in place in order for them to prevent becoming a victim (see textbox on preventative measures). One particular measure includes regularly checking your credit report. This will not only help you keep an eye on your credit rating, but also help you identify any unusual activity. According to Lenisa, every South African citizen is entitled to one free credit report annually (as per the National Credit Act 34 of 2005).
For those who feel that transacting online is a safer option, think again. “Almost 50% of credit card f raud takes place online, despite only 2% of transactions taking place online,” says Walter Volker, chief executive of the Payments Association of South Africa ( PASA). Given that online sales are expected to reach $1.92tr (R22.8tr) by 2016 globally, the high rate of online fraud is not surprising.
Unfortunately, preventing online fraud “is one of the most difficult things to do as in most cases the compromised data is held at the merchant where the breach may have occurred,” says Deon Louw, head of card and merchant fraud at Nedbank. “Clients should attempt to transact at reputable business and ensure that they have an activated SMS notification which notifies them of all spent above a pre-set threshold, should you receive an approve-it request and are not transacting, do not approve it.” SO, HOW CAN YOU SAFEGUARD YOURSELF AGAINST ONLINE FRAUD? FNB PROVIDES A LIST OF WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:
Never respond to emails asking for your personal banking information, particularly not a mail that claims to be from your bank as your bank will never ask for such details over the phone, SMS or email.
When making online purchases, only deal with reputable sites and check the functionality of the site before you make a payment.
Check that there is a padlock displayed next to the URL and that there is an ‘s’ after http in the web address – this indicates a secure site.
Update and run your anti-virus and spyware programme regularly.
Never leave your cards and wallet lying around.