Business / Personal Finance

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
29 Sep 2021
2:53 pm

Online banking fraud on the rise – How to stay safe ahead of festive season

Citizen Reporter

Digital banking fraud increased by 33%, while debit card fraud rose by 22%. It's wild out there. Here's how to stay safe.

Criminals also found themselves needing to ‘work from home’ during the pandemic. Picture: iStock

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) released its annual crime stats for 2020, which shows Covid-19 and the current state of disaster “had a notable influence” on crime trends.

According to Sabric, the current state of affairs “trigger human behaviour, human movement and policing”, which in turn creates new opportunities for criminals.

Banking fraud spike

New opportunities for criminals

One of the latest crime trends involves banking, specifically in relation to clients who turn to online shopping and settling payments via apps.

Sabric says “criminals enhanced their efforts to phish customers to steal their personal data to defraud them on digital and online platforms”.

“Overall, Sabric has seen an increase in banking crime incidents. Digital banking fraud increased by 33%. Debit card fraud rose by 22%.”

Online banking: How to stay safe?

Sabric suggests personal information such as documents, driver’s licences, passports, addresses and contact details should be kept under lock and key, where possible.

“Always protect your personal information by sharing it very selectively and on a need-to-know basis.”

It should also go without saying that usernames, passwords and PIN numbers must be kept safe. An added layer of security would be to review your account statements on a regular basis.

Additional safety tips

Sabric also suggests the following:

  • When shopping online, only place orders with your card on a secure website.
  • Register for 3D Secure.
  • Implement dual authentication for all accounts and products, especially for financial
  • services products.
  • Do not send e-mails that quote your card number and expiry date.
  • Do not use your information if you suspect it may have been compromised. Rather use other personal information that you have not used previously to confirm your identity in future.
  • Register for SMS notifications to alert you when products and accounts are accessed.
  • Conduct regular credit checks to verify whether someone has applied for credit using your personal information and if so, advise the credit grantor immediately.
  • Investigate and register for credit-related alerts offered by credit bureaus.