As we are approaching a time to celebrate and enjoy the festivities, this is also unfortunately an opportune time for criminals to take advantage of consumers who might become more relaxed when it comes to protecting their identity and their money. The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has embarked on a Festive Season Awareness Initiative. Here are some tips and advice:

Carrying Cash Safely:

  • Carry as little cash as possible.
  • Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically (consult your bank to find out about other available electronic options).
  • Consider making use of cell phone banking, internet transfers or ATMs to do your banking.
  • Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.


  • Protect yourself against fraud by registering for additional security that sends a One Time Pin (OTP) to your phone when making a payment.
  • Shopping for cheap online specials can be an expensive mistake. Watch out for e-mails offering crazy #BlackFriday deals. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Learn more
  • Watch out for spoof e-commerce sites advertising #BlackFriday specials. Criminals only need to change one digit of a web address to create a spoof website and steal your data.
  • Be wary of unfamiliar e-commerce sites, especially if they do not redirect you to confirm your transaction via your banks 3D secure page or via your own banks mobile app before you pay. Learn more
  • Never supply your OTP to anyone whilst conducting an online transaction.
  • Never click on unknown links in emails, or open email attachments from unknown sources, and never foward the emails.
  • Only shop at reputable retailers and avoid unknown ones, even if the offers are amazing.

Social Engineering:

  • Do not ever click on any links in SMS’s or emails stating that your lost or stolen device has been located as criminals use this to get your banking App credentials.
  • Always be vigilant by being aware of who is around you when using your banking App.

Banking App:

  • Always log out of your Banking App manually once you have finished transacting.
  • Keep your daily EFT and ATM limits low as to protect yourself.
  • Some Banking Apps and internet banking profiles will require that contact be made with the bank before the limit can be increased on your profile.

ATM Crime:

  • Follow the instructions on the ATM screen carefully.
  • Be alert of your surroundings.
  • Do not use the ATM if there are loiterers or suspicious people in the vicinity. Be aware that fraudsters are often well dressed, wellspoken and respectable looking individuals.
  • If you are disturbed while transacting at the ATM, your card may possibly be skimmed by being removed and placed back into the ATM without your knowledge. Cancel the transaction immediately and report the incident using your bank’s Stop Card Toll free number, which is displayed on all ATMs, as well as on the back of your bank card.
  • After successfully transacting at the ATM, leave immediately. Be cautious of strangers requesting you to return to the ATM to finalise any transaction as skimming may occur during this request.
  • Never force your card into the slot if you experience initial difficulty, as it might have been tampered with. Always cancel this transaction.
  • If your card is swallowed by the ATM, immediately notify your bank and cancel your card.
  • Set a daily withdrawal limit that suits your needs to protect yourself in an event that your card and PIN are compromised. Every bank will have its own default amount which you must check and adjust according to your needs.
  • Check your balance regularly and report discrepancies to your bank IMMEDIATELY.

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