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How to avoid festive season scams

The festive season is upon us and is arguably most South Africans’ favourite time of the year.

With its jolly, infectious mood and family time, one would think it’s a safer time in the country. But that is far from the truth.

In actuality, scammers, particularly online ones, are more likely to get perfect victims during this time of the year when people become less on guard about virtual activity.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has warned the public about potential financial scams.

“Criminals are always looking for opportunities to defraud their victims, particularly at this time of year when they know that people are winding down for the holidays and spending their bonuses,” says Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay.

The organisation added that online banking systems have made transactions much simpler, but they have also opened the door for crooks to swindle individuals.

Additionally, scammers can use this information to assume a person’s identity. Although access to banking profiles or accounts is not guaranteed, there is a possibility that it will be used to conduct fraud.

Here are more tips to guarantee you don’t get robbed of your hard-earned money online:

  1. Examine your account statements on a regular and timely basis, and report any disputed transactions to your bank right away.
  2. When purchasing online, only use your card on safe websites.
  3. Do not send emails that include your credit card number and expiration date.
  4. Ensure that you receive your own card after each purchase.
  5. Never write down or reveal your PIN to anyone.
  6. Report lost or stolen cards right away.
  7. Before you throw away your credit card receipts, shred them.
  8. When making payments, never allow your card out of your sight.

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