Personal financial scams: how to respond 

15 Mar

Being a victim of fraud is something we all want to avoid. Here’s how to avoid scammers and what to do when they strike.

Fraud is one of the sneakiest types of crime, and if you’ve had the bad luck to be a victim of financial scammers, you’ll know just how upsetting and inconvenient it can be.

Losing your hard-earned income to the criminal acts of fraudsters is something that nobody wants to experience, but it’s important to remember that there’s no shame in being a victim of cybercrime – it can happen to anyone.

Being the target of any type of fraud can be deeply personal. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud and steps you can take to mitigate the damage.

Let’s look at some anti-fraud measures you can take to protect yourself.

fraud: a growing threat in south Africa

The number of South Africans falling victim to fraudsters has increased significantly over the past decade. In 2020, banking fraud victims lost over R1.5 billion to scammers.

Here are some basic anti-fraud measures you can take to secure your financial data.

  • Change your passwords regularly
  • Never reply to suspicious bank emails
  • Consider using a banking app instead of cell phone banking
  • Opt for two factor authentication if your bank provides it
  • Never lend any of your bank or credit cards to anyone – even a friend – and be careful where you use your credit card to avoid cloning
  • Always backup your data

what to do if you’re a victim of fraud

Sometimes even the best prevention measures fail to keep you safe from fraudsters. If you realise that you’ve been scammed or notice suspicious activity in your bank account, it’s important to stay calm and take immediate action. How you react and respond to any type of cybercrime can be critical in whether or not you are able to recover any or all of your losses.

Here are some things you can do to limit your financial losses.

  • Contact your bank. Speak with the fraud department, tell them exactly what happened, and forward them any relevant details or supporting documentation to ask for without delay.
  • Contact the police. Even if you don’t know the identity of the fraudsters involved in your case, you’ll need to report the incident to the police as soon as possible. A SAPS case number may be needed before you can claim from fraud insurance or request a reversal of suspicious transactions
  • Contact the SA Fraud Prevention Service. This is a dedicated organisation that helps victims of fraud and identity theft. If you feel that your bank was not helpful enough in dealing with your fraud case, you can also contact the SA Banking Ombudsman for further assistance.

keep your financial data safe with secure cloud storage

With hackers and financial cybercriminals becoming smarter by the year, keeping your sensitive financial information safe and encrypted in the cloud is a powerful weapon against fraudsters.

Browse our range of cloud storage services to find the package that suits your needs the best.

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