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Bank Fraud in South Africa

Digital Bank Fraud – More South Africans Become Victims Every Day

A recent report exposed alarming figures of digital bank fraud in South Africa and shows that this method of fraud is at an all-time high.

The annual SITEisfaction report by insights agency, Columinate, shows that there has been a steady increase in digital bank fraud over the last four years.

Bank Fraud Figures in South Africa

SITEisfaction’s report also noted an increase in awareness of potential fraud and scams but regardless of this, more people are falling victim every day. In 2018 alone, 22% of users still fell victim to these criminal activities, up from 19% in 2017, 14% in 2016 and 12% in 2015.

When looking at the numbers, it is clear that while awareness about the risks are on the rise, so are the amount of victims. An alarming and sobering thought.

“When it comes to the world of mobile banking, security ought to be the utmost priority and concern – as technological counter-measures evolve, so do criminals,” says Columinate’s co-founder and CEO, Henk Pretorius.

“While a handful of banks did take the initiative to educate their customers on the looming threats, the message is far from reaching saturation in the SA market.”

According to Pretorius, the onus is on the banks to create banking platforms that are as secure as they are perceived to be, and to continually remind customers about new and potential risks.

It can no longer be assumed that banking platforms are secure, and that the public is aware of any risks. More needs to be done.

While many still fall victim to scams that have been around for years, a few new scams made their debit in 2018:

  • About 8% of users fell victim to the “You are a winner” Pay-to-Play scam;
  • Around 13% of users fell victim to the advanced “Free Loan”/ “Prequalified Loan or Credit Card” scam;
  • Some 4% of users were taken advantage of with the “Request for Help” e-mail fraud – which is regarded the “natural evolution” of the 419-scam – asking for help and promising riches in return;
  • About 6% of users fell victim to the traditional 419-scam;
  • Phishing scams are still a frequent occurrence, with 36% of respondents being targeted, and 7% falling victim to it in the last year.

The fact remains, when you look at the statistics and the host of recent scams that have hit South Africans, the public and business owners simply have to look at new ways of protecting their data and important documents.

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