Festive season banking caution
THE SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), on behalf of the banking industry as well as the Hawks, has called on everyone to protect their banking information.
“Criminals are masters at social engineering and know just how to exploit human vulnerabilities to perpetrate crimes, particularly over the festive season, when they tend to let their guard down,” said Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay.
Robberies where criminals follow a victim after a withdrawal at an ATM or from the bank remain rife, as criminals know that at this time of year people receive their stokvel payouts and bonuses.
Sabric urges bank clients to avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
Pillay highlighted a scam, known as the “Money Bomb”, where the criminal drops a roll of paper covered in genuine banknotes near the victim after they have transacted at an ATM.
The criminal then approaches the victim and suggests going to a remote location to share the money. At the remote location, the victim is robbed of the money they withdrew, often violently.
She added that people are still compromised because of phishing, vishing or the installation of malware on to a victim’s device by having them click on a link, enabling the criminal to steal sufficient personal information to access their online banking profile.
Sabric has also seen an increase in the hacking of social media profiles, where a victim’s social media account is hijacked by hacking their account, or by creating a duplicate account using stolen personal information.
The criminal then accesses the victim’s contacts, fabricates a tragic story, and sends a message to their contacts requesting money.
The victim’s contacts then unknowingly transfer money to the criminal.
Western Cape Hawks spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase said the key is to always make sure there are no added devices on the ATM that could be duplicating your card.
“When keying in your PIN, cover it – whether you are at a shop, restaurant or ATM,” said Nkwalase.