Beware these fraud schemes targeting consumers in South Africa right now

 ·22 Oct 2022

Consumers in South Africa shrugged off macroeconomic headwinds to remain optimistic about their financial prospects in the third quarter of 2022, according to consumer credit reporting agency, TransUnion.

Most respondents to TransUnion’s Q3 2022 Consumer Pulse Study said they expect their incomes to increase in the next year, while two in three (64%) said they will be able to pay their current bills and loans in full.

However, the rise in inflationary pressures is likely to see some consumers cutting back on discretionary spending, the credit specialist said.

As such, almost all respondents (92%) believe access to credit and lending products are important to achieve their financial goals. As many as 70% said they conduct at least a quarter of their transactions online, a six-percentage point increase from the beginning of the year.

This opens up the question of identity risks around financial services and lending products. Half of the consumers surveyed were unaware of digital fraud schemes targeting them in the last three months.

“This lack of awareness is concerning since the assumption is these consumers may have been targeted but were unaware of any attempts — which may have resulted in them falling victim to schemes without knowing it.

“Consumers should leverage their credit reports to identify potentially fraudulent activity that may have occurred within their portfolio; for example, the opening of new accounts they may not be aware of or credit enquiries made without their knowledge,” said TransUnion.

For consumers aware of digital fraud targeting them, 46% said in the last three months they were targeted by money/gift card scams — an increase of four percentage points from the prior quarter —followed by third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites (29%).

Most frequent fraud schemes targeting consumers

Eighty-nine percent of consumers were concerned about sharing personal information, and a high percentage across generations answered the same way. The fear of having their identities stolen (76%) and personal invasion of privacy (69%) were the most common reasons consumers cited concern about sharing their information.

TransUnion’s quarterly survey explores how consumers’ personal finances have changed and what changes they expect in the future. The study measures shifting consumer attitudes and behaviours based on the dynamics of income, debt and identity theft. The analyses and insights give consumers a voice and inform businesses’ decision-making as they seek to create economic opportunities for consumers.

Personal experience with digital fraud attempts in last three months

Reasons concerned about sharing personal information


Read: Shift in scams targeting banks in South Africa

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