Finweek English Edition - - MONEY -

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.

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