The biggest type of banking fraud in South Africa

 ·13 Apr 2024

Transacting digitally is becoming more commonplace in South Africa, with fraudsters finding new avenues to target consumers.

According to TransUnion’s latest Consumer Pulse, 60% of South Africans were targeted by an online, email, phone call or text messaging fraud scheme.

Alarmingly, 9% of consumers fell victim over the same period.

Findings showed that 34% of consumers were exposed to a money or gift card – the largest type of fraud recorded in the country.

South Africa was the only country in the study to see money or gift card fraud as the number one type of fraud.

33% of consumers reported phishing, 31% reported smishing, and 27% reported vishing scams.

These scams see fraudsters using emails, websites, social media posts, QR codes, text messages and phone calls to trick people into giving them their personal data.

According to the study, phishing, smishing, and vishing were the most reported types of fraud in the US, Chile, Philippines, Canada, UK, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.

Returning to South Africa, 27% of consumers encountered third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites.

10% reported being targeted by identity theft scams for their personal information.

“These numbers show how important it is for consumers to monitor their credit records regularly,” said TransUnion.

“Early detection of fraudulent activities that affect their credit scores enables consumers to take timely corrective action.”

“The overwhelming majority of surveyed households (93%) realise the importance of checking their credit records regularly, and by far the biggest portion (52%) do so at least monthly.”

Source: TransUnion

Read: South Africa’s corruption crisis – the hotspots for fraud, bribery and maladministration

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