BEWARE! Digital Fraud on the rise in SA: Here are tips to avoid falling victim

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Rafiq Wagiet

126 days ago
BEWARE! Digital Fraud on the rise in SA: Here are tips to avoid falling victim © doucefleur/123rf.com

  • **Scammers specifically target consumers who are in good financial standing **

  • **They use various methods to entice consumers including pre-approved loans via SMS and email**

  • **Those messages mimic legitimate financial services providers to look as convincing as possible**

  • **Scammers then pounce on consumers who respond to those fake messages and emails **



Love fraud like the type seen in the hit Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler rose by 80% in the US
last year according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The commission is reporting that $500 million is stolen by love rats targeting the lonely and vulnerable.

It adds that people aged between 18-29 were most likely to send money to someone they met online.

According to a recent study, scams in South Africa are also on the rise.

The study by credit rating agency TransUnion shows that 37% of local consumers were recently targeted by Covid-19 related digital fraud.

The Tinder Swindler tells the story of several women scammed by fraudster Simon Lievev who lied about
his lifestyle and wealth to lure them into giving him money.

Piet van der Walt, business head at Sanlam Retail Credit says digital fraud has become very common in South Africa.

Fraudsters have seen the opportunity...they imitate a trusted brand, and build their own promotional material around that.

Piet van der Walt - Business head at Sanlam Retail Credit

They target consumers that they know is in financial good standing. They do that by obtaining data which they get illegally. If they get your contact details, they are going to send you marketing messages.

Piet van der Walt - Business head at Sanlam Retail Credit

RELATED: Most of us have abandonment wounds, that's why it worked - Tindler Swindler scam

They try to lure you in by providing a value proposition of very low interest rates. Loans that are easy to get and also very high loan amounts.

Piet van der Walt - Business head at Sanlam Retail Credit

If the communication address is open-ended, that's a first sign. A legitimate company will always address you by your name.

Piet van der Walt - Business head at Sanlam Retail Credit

RELATED: Tinder Swindler victim Pernilla: I would be the worst gold digger in the world

If it's too good to be true, rather go to that bank or lender's website and communicate directly to them if you believe the offer is suspicious.

Piet van der Walt - Business head at Sanlam Retail Credit

They say loans are easy to get. You don't have to send qualification documentation. Banks and lenders don't operate like that. By law they must make sure that you can afford the loan. They must go through a thorough process to determine your income.

Piet van der Walt - Business head at Sanlam Retail Credit

Scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : BEWARE! Digital Fraud on the rise in SA: Here are tips to avoid falling victim

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