Nedbank warns of new scams doing the rounds in South Africa

 ·16 May 2024

South Africa is seeing a rise in deepfake scams, but Nedbank has also cautioned customers to watch out for “old-school” tactics from criminals.

According to the “Big Four” bank, cybercriminals only need a short clip of your voice to create realistic-sounding voice messages claiming to be from you.

If scammers can get recordings of your facial data, they can create deepfake videos that promote a “great investment opportunity” through AI.

“They’ll add screenshots of fake bank pay-outs and testimonials to make them look more credible. They can post these videos on your hacked accounts or DM them to your friends, family and social media followers, urging them to invest and receive high returns,” said Nedbank.

“If the people targeted from your contact list accept the deepfake as real, they’ll have no reason to doubt that you’re sharing something that worked for you.”

Nedbank said that cybercriminals using this tactic pray on human emotions and has provided a host of tips that one can use to protect themselves:

  • Never answer video calls from people whom you don’t know personally.

  • Use call-vetting apps like Truecaller to warn you about spam and spam callers. However, don’t rely on these apps alone. Call the supposed sender directly to check if a message is legitimate before you do anything that could compromise your safety or your finances.

  • Set up 2-factor authentication on your social media accounts

  • Never share your account passwords.

  • Always double-check the credibility of investment opportunities.

  • If you discover that a deepfake version of you is being used to scam people, notify your friends, family, and social media contacts immediately.

On top of the new scam, there are six other “classic” scams that Nedbank issued warnings over:

Fake loans

Fraudsters can promise loans that entice people in need of financial help with promises like “no credit checks” or “qualify even if you’re blacklisted.”

These scammers will ask you to pay “an administration fee” before paying the loan into the account.

“When you pay that fee, you may also compromise your online banking details. The scammer then uses your details to add themselves as a beneficiary on your account, which you then approve because you think you’re approving the payment of the loan.”

Fake jobs

Social media adverts that promise easy jobs at excellent salaries will also try to get you to pay an “administration fee.”

Fraudsters will again get hold of your banking details and take the money out of your account.


A common scam involves a message claiming that you have a parcel waiting for you with unpaid fees.

Users should not click on any links in these messages, make payments, or share their banking details.

“Instead, contact your local Post Office or courier company directly. They can confirm whether there are any packages for you, and what is owed.”

“If you haven’t bought anything from a supplier in another country, it’s most likely a scam.”

Phone calls

The con involves someone pretending to be a friend or family member who is in trouble.

“They’re hoping you’ll think you recognise the voice and say a name so that they can pretend to be that person, asking for your help in an emergency. If they’ve hacked your social media accounts, they might use the name of someone you know.”

Never share personal information or financial details with someone who does not identify themselves.

If they share a name with someone you know, but their number differs from what’s saved on your phone, you should contact that person on a different platform or check with a mutual contact to see if their number has changed.

Inheritance messages

Any random messages that claim you’ve inherited money should be ignored. The message should be deleted, and the sender blocked.

A normal inheritance process involves legal documentation and formal procedures that require individuals to identify themselves before bank details are shared.

Fake celebrity endorsements

Any message from celebrities, especially those endorsing cryptocurrency, is probably a scam.

“Realistically, why would Beyoncé be sending you a DM asking for an e-wallet? It might seem obvious, but at the moment, it’s easy to get swept away by the idea that your favourite celeb has reached out to you.”

Endorsements like these should be ignored, while social media adverts should not be clicked on.

Read: What you need to earn to be considered middle class in South Africa

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