Fraud me once, shame on you. F

Fraud me once, shame on you. Fraud me twice, shame on me

SA has no shortage of extraordinary fraud scheme stories. However, local and international initiatives are proving worthwhile in cracking down on fraudulent activity.

Fraud me once, shame on you. F

In light of the upcoming International Fraud Awareness Week (November 15th to 21st), we thought it would be good to do a quick run-down of known fraudulent activity and how to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of fraud.

SA has no shortage of extraordinary fraud scheme stories. However, collaborations with other countries to dissolve fraudulent enterprises, as well as the initiatives of the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service, has proved to be worthwhile to crack down on fraudulent activity.

While the government and policing services of SA do their part, here is how you can do yours:

Register your lost or stolen passports or identity documents as soon as they are no longer in your possession.

As soon as you notice that an important identity document is gone, you should report it right away. Moreover, practice some basic safety precautions when discarding your documents. If you have any papers that contain sensitive information, and absolutely anything from your bank (including credit card statements) make sure to shred them before discarding them.

Practice Safety when Online

Avoid doing any online banking from an unsecure internet connection, including public Wi-Fi. Never save your sign-in info for your bank account and always make sure you sign out, not just close the browser window. Change your PIN and password frequently to not only your online banking account, but also other accounts with sensitive information, and make sure it is complex. Don’t ever give out your banking or credit card information to unknown persons online. It is actually best whenever you have to pay online, that you use a safe payment method that is prepaid and is not tied to your actual bank account – something like this or an e-wallet where funds are limited. Keep in mind, too, that identity theft is more than just financial fraud, so always be careful about the amount of personal information that you reveal online as well as banking information.

Educate yourself on current fraudulent schemes

Never give out personal details over email, especially from banking institutions. As no bank will ever ask for this information via email – these requests are always a scam. Also anything stipulating that you have won or inherited something is usually a scam. They are numerous and always changing, so seeking out the information to identify the latest scams is a good prevention method. For some of the latest scams running on SA, see here.