With the festive season in full swing, South Africans, armed with bonuses, stokvel payouts, savings and the spirit of giving, are set to spend big over the next few weeks. Phiko Peter, Client Relationship Manager at Allan Gray, cautions SA citizens to be wary of scammers to avoid falling victim to festive season scams. “Aware that most of us are less vigilant as we ease into the festive season, scammers will be pulling out all the stops to line their pockets with our hard-earned money,” Phiko Peter warns.
According to Peter there are a few things you can do to avoid becoming a victim:
- Protect your personal information
As a rule of thumb, you should never share your personal information with anyone, over the phone or in an email, unless you initiated the contact.
- Be aware of phishing attempts
Your email and SMS inboxes will be filled with amazing offers from some of your favourite brands and service providers in the lead up to the festive season. Be sure to examine these messages very carefully and be cautious when clicking on links and sharing your details.
- Online shopping
If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some fraudsters have been known to set up websites that resemble trusted online shopping sites in order to get our credit card details or con us into making payments for products that will never arrive; others severely misrepresent their goods.
- Remain vigilant
Keep a close eye on your bank accounts and banking notifications during this period. These can alert you to fraudulent activity on your accounts. Report any OTPs (one-time PINs) that you receive for transactions you did not initiate.
- Plan ahead
It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and end up overspending. This often means that we find ourselves looking to make a quick buck in the new year to make ends meet. Fraudsters count on this and will crop up in January with a whole lot of scams that aim to capitalise on our desperation.
“By planning your expenses in advance, you are more likely to keep your festive season spending within your means and less likely to be taken for a ride,” Peter advises.
Click here to download the Allan Gray media release to read in more depth about Peter’s tips.