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Cyber risk

Online transactions – Don’t fall victim to digital fraud

COVID-19 has resulted in more digital transactions than ever before hence exponential increases in online fraud. Consequentially, the financial services industry has found itself battling to meet the thriving demand for greater digital access to products and services while also addressing the challenges of increased online fraud. Beyond protecting themselves from fraud, financial institutions must protect their customers, and at the same time ensure that customers still have a good or seamless online experience.

TransUnion’s latest quarterly analysis of global online fraud trends indicates that fraudsters are moving away from businesses and targeting consumers more. To better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on consumers, TransUnion surveyed 8,265 adults in Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, South Africa the U.K. and the U.S. the week of July 27. More than three out of 10 respondents (32%) said they had been targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19, with Gen Z (age 18-25) being the most targeted at 36%. Among consumers reporting being targeted by digital COVID-19 schemes globally, the top pandemic-themed scam is phishing, with 27% saying they were hit. Despite the survey showing Baby Boomers being the generation least targeted with digital COVID-19 scams, they were the age group saying they faced the highest percentage of COVID-19 themed phishing scams.

“Looking ahead, companies in South Africa must understand the long-term trends and innovations affecting security, privacy and fraud in order to balance optimal customer experience with rigorous security and fraud prevention and be best positioned to succeed. Building trust in a digital consumer landscape may be challenging, but it will separate the winners from the rest,” a recent study by The Economist Intelligence Unit also reports.

With Black Friday approaching, many financial institutions have released campaigns and are sharing various tips with their customers.

So how does one avoid falling victim to digital scams/schemes? For every claim made by fraudsters, ABSA suggests the following response:

False promises made by fraudsters Response
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity” If it’s too good to be true it probably is
“It Is urgent and requires swift action!” Pause and think before you respond
Out of the blue contact to offer you opportunities you have not asked for Always question surprise calls from unknown parties
“You have to download software or material” Never download software or material on instruction
“Please provide me with your keys to the safe (logon credentials, card details)” Never share your “keys to the safe”(Log on credentials, card details) with anyone
It requires your electronic approval (online approval or OTP) Do not make advanced payments/deposits to strangers
It requires advanced payments/deposits Never approve anything unless you’re transacting
It cannot be validated by a 3rd party Use your trusted browser and combine the Institution and seams/schemes during a search

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