Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Last year the ombudsman for banking services received 138 complaints about internet banking fraud involving sim swaps. This has risen to 160 in the first six months of 2017.

Only 22 - or 16% - of last year's cases were settled in the consumer's favour, ombudsman Reana Steyn said. "There has been no evidence yet to suggest that a bank's systems were hacked ... which on a balance of probabilities indicates some sort of negligence on the part of the consumer."

Of the 22 successful complaints, the ombudsman found that the bank had not frozen the accounts immediately on being told of the fraudulent activity.

"They have up to an hour to stop transfers out of beneficiary accounts ... depending on the number of beneficiary accounts involved," Steyn said.

But even when banks are unable to find any evidence their clients have fallen prey to phishing, customers are still deemed to have somehow compromised their banking details.

In those cases the banks usually offer a 50% settlement, on condition of non-disclosure.

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