The most common fraud schemes targeting consumers in South Africa right now

More than half of South African consumers (56%) say they will not be able to pay at least one of their current bills and loans in the next three months, according to research conducted by TransUnion in late May and early June.

And with high inflation rates and forecasted continued interest rate hikes on the horizon, the study also found the majority (52%) of households said they will cut back on their discretionary spending.

The consumer credit reporting firm has said that this type of environment creates desperation among those people looking to escape their financial predicament.

It said that more than half of consumers (53%) are not aware of being targets of fraudulent schemes. Most Gen X were not aware (63%) of being targeted — much higher than Gen Z (45%).

Money and gift card scams remained the top fraud scheme (42%) in the last three months followed by third-party seller scams (29%) and unemployment scams (27%). The quarterly trend of stolen credit card or fraudulent charges is stable – 11%; decreased one percentage point, said TransUnion.

Most frequent fraud schemes targeting consumers


Personal information is a top consumer concern; 89% of consumers cited concern with sharing personal information, said TransUnion. Consumers did not want their identity stolen (75%); worried about invasion of privacy (74%); and wanted to avoid receiving unsolicited marketing communications (43%).

Sentiments were similar across generations with Baby Boomers (81%) the most concerned about identity theft, the credit specialist said.

Personal experience with digital fraud attempts in the last three months

Read: What happens to your debt and taxes when you die in South Africa

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The most common fraud schemes targeting consumers in South Africa right now