Standard Bank issues fraud alert

 ·8 Mar 2024

Standard Bank has issued an alert warning the public to avoid a fraudulent entity and/or website that is using the bank’s information in an attempt to legitimise its illegal activities.

The entity operates under the name Direct Access Finance and claims to be located at Standard Bank Centre, 5 Simmonds Street, Johannesburg.

The group purports to assist consumers with credit solutions, the bank said, and claims to be an Authorized Financial Services and Credit Provider with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) code NCRCP1480 – which is Standard Bank’s subsidiary, Blue Granite Investments 2.

However, Standard Bank said the website has nothing to do with the bank or its operations.

“The website attempts to garner legitimacy by associating its physical address with that of Standard Bank and links itself to one of Standard Bank’s subsidiaries Blue Granite 2.

“Direct Access Finance is not registered with the National Credit Regulator, and has no legal mandate to advise on or provide financial credit,” the bank said.

“Standard Bank has no direct or indirect association with the entity and/or website in question, and we urge consumers not to confuse it with other legitimate financial services providers that may have closely related names.”

The bank said it has reported the matter to the relevant regulators, and is pursuing measures for the illegal website to be taken down.

“We encourage the public to always ensure that they are dealing with registered financial services providers to avoid falling victim to scams of this nature.

“Consumers are advised to borrow from registered lenders with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) as they are bound by the National Credit Act.”

The National Credit Regulator provides oversight and compliance with the Act, and protects customers by:

  • Setting maximum interest rates and fees that can be charged
  • Ensuring full disclosures of all information in an agreement
  • Ensuring lenders use the correct methods lenders can use to collect debt in the case of default
  • Lenders registered under National Credit Act will never charge an upfront fee for consumers to borrow money.

Registered Lenders can be verified on the National Credit Regulator website.

The flagging of fraudulent sites comes as South Africa continues to struggle with high levels of cybercrime and other types of digital fraud.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) also recently issued an alert over new phishing scams targeting taxpayers in South Africa.

In all of these cases, criminals and fraudsters are parading as legitimate businesses, organisations and entities in a bid to scam or steal money from unsuspecting users.

South Africans are urged to double and triple check that they are dealing with legitimate groups when conducting any financial transactions and to be on alert for scams.

Read: Criminals are targetting banking apps in South Africa – what you need to know

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