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Make online scams "less of a thing" with Standard Bank's DigiME, an innovative solution designed to ensure your digital profile is strong and secure.
Make online scams "less of a thing" with Standard Bank's DigiME, an innovative solution designed to ensure your digital profile is strong and secure.

The rise in digital fraud is a concern, and South Africans need to be armed to deal with it. Fraud and digital scams continue to cause serious financial loss for banking customers, as new scams increase, so do the number of victims.

According to the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, 477-million people globally have fallen victim to cybercrimes, with 328.5-million of those incidents taking place in the 12 months before May 2021.

As a trusted partner, Standard Bank has various digital security measures in place to help consumers conduct their everyday banking with peace of mind. The bank continues to drive the message of cyber safety so customers don’t fall into traps fraudsters set on the digital sphere,” says Carolina Reddy, head of fraud risk management at Standard Bank. 

One such measure is DigiME, an innovative solution designed to ensure that a customer’s digital profile is strong and secure. It involves a combination of two or more factors to authenticate a customer’s real identity.

“Through the DigiME solution, Standard Bank is adopting an approach of partnering with customers to jointly walk the digital journey to help against fraud. This entails a multi-factor authenticator model that leverages something you have, something you know and something you are to verify yourself,” says Reddy.

Banking fraud has become a lucrative business for online scammers and the banking fraud matters investigated for 2021 alone exceeded R295m as per the Ombudsman for Banking Services.

The banking sector’s most significant security concerns come in the form of online threats, as banks process millions of transactions daily, with the majority of the transactions done through digital payment platforms. For this reason, banks have become enticing targets for cybercriminals.

SA has the third-highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide, and it’s estimated that it costs R2.2bn a year.

“As a bank, it is imperative that customers’ money is physically protected, but it has become equally imperative for it to be protected from a digital perspective. This is where Standard Bank wants to empower  customers with the knowledge required to avoid getting scammed and falling victims to fraudsters,” says Reddy. 

Trending digital scams to watch out for

1. Instant money scam

Fraudsters call customers pretending to be from the bank and advise there’s fraud on their account, requesting an instant money voucher to be sent to them as a verification process. On receipt of the instant money voucher, the customer is asked to read back the voucher details and pin to authenticate themselves. The details are then used for the fraudster to cash out the voucher. 

2. SIM swaps 

With this type of scam, fraudsters perform a SIM swap without the customer's knowledge, allowing them to intercept their phone calls and messages, taking over their phone number. Typically, the SIM swap takes place after fraudsters have received a customer’s internet banking sign-in details after their response to a phishing email or a call.

Once fraudsters have access to a customer’s cellphone number and personal details, they can pose as the customer and request a new SIM card from the customer's network provider. This gives the fraudster access to a customer’s phone calls, messages, one time pins (OTPs) and other notifications. 

3. Phishing

A phishing scam uses emails to steal your personal information, to access your bank accounts or credit cards.

It’s a sophisticated technique designed to trick you into believing that a message is from a legitimate source so that you’ll click on a fraudulent link, icon or download an attachment to provide your information. 

The bank will never ask for your account details, password, PIN or OTPs over the phone
Carolina Reddy, Standard Bank head of fraud risk management

Please be aware that Standard Bank will never ask for your personal banking information over the phone or send you emails with links that take you to a site where you’re required to capture your internet banking details.

Here’s how to identify if you’re being scammed: 

  • What you are offered or promised sounds too good to be true
  • The offer takes you by surprise, or the prize relates to a competition you never entered
  • You’re given limited time to confirm your details or win the prize, catching you off guard
  • You receive the information via a free email address (like Hotmail, Aim, Yahoo or Gmail)
  • You are promised large sums of money for little or no effort on your part
  • You’re asked to provide money upfront, for whatever reason, to receive the money or prize
  • You’re asked to confirm personal or account details via a hyperlink, icon or attachment in an email or over the phone

4. Vishing

Vishing is when fraudsters ask for your personal and bank account details over the phone. They pretend to be from the bank’s fraud department, luring you into sharing your bank account details, PINs and OTPs. Know the bank will never ask for your account details, password, PIN or OTPs over the phone.  

“As Standard Bank works towards improving security features for customers, it wants to ensure customers are empowered in identifying digital scams and remaining digitally secure,” says Reddy.

This article was paid for by Standard Bank. 

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