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November 6th, 2015 by


 Online Scams Written By: Jessica Woodruff

This is surely why insurance is so vital – to protect the assets we work so hard to get.

Unfortunately, scam and con artists are only too eager to get a hold of some of your hard-earned money and are constantly progressing in new ploys to make you part with your money.

Take a look at the Top 3 Scamming trends in South Africa and how to avoid them;

Cyber-Security

The number one scam in South Africa would have to be banking related fraud. Whether it be phishing schemes, visiting spoofed banking website that resemble verified websites or receiving bogus SMS notifications of deposits and withdrawals from an account.

How to avoid this:

  1. Do not rely on SMS messages alone to confirm transactions. SMS and email messages can easily be falsified. Contact your financial advisor or check online and report any suspicious behaviour.
  2. Keep an eye on monthly statements and identify unusual transactions and behaviours.
  3. Do not use public computers when doing your online banking or any other sensitive tasks. Internet cafes are open to the public and anyone who accesses the computer after you may be able to track vital information.

Advance-fee fraud

Internet users are befuddled out of hundreds or thousands of Rands as a result of sophisticated social engineering techniques designed to trick people into making upfront payments for products and services.

Examples of products and services include prize and lottery winnings and various other opportunities that never materialise.

How to avoid this:

Online classified scams: Scammers pose as buyers on free classified ad websites. They will often eList the courier services of a third party courier or payment scheme and will use excuses as to why they cannot meet face-to-face. Avoid offers for shipping and only pay when you have physically inspected or received the goods.

Online shopping scams: Scammers have been known to use fake retail websites to advertise goods at low prices and lure customers. One way to identify whether a website is a fake is the payment process. Such suspicious behaviour may be when the seller asks for you to make a payment via a money transfer and not a secure online payment system that is offered by most online platforms including TakeAlot, BidorBuy and Spree, to name a few.

Online dating scams

There are many stories over people meeting over the Internet, falling in love and getting married however, the line between romancing and defrauding is very fine.

Many scammers will try instilling a fake relationship with you to play with your emotions and lure you under false pretences. Once they are satisfied that you are “hooked” they will usually start asking for you to send them money and then pretend to be travelling or working abroad as an excuse to not see you.

But perhaps one of the most alarming scamming trends that seem to be circulating in SA is that of the “cold calling technical support scam”.

The Sunday Independent recently reported on a scam where fraudsters call an unsuspecting victim, claiming they are from a reputable computer or software company and that they need the victim to “sort out a problem” with their PC.

The scammer then guides the victim through a process to fix the so-called “issue” and as a result allows him remote access to the targeted PC. The scammer then asks for payment of his services via EFT and insists the victim add them as a banking beneficiary.

With the remote access, the scammer loads malware and harvests the victim’s banking details. What follows is the grisly realisation of that the victim’s bank account has been completely cleaned out.