Cyber crime no laughing matter

Digital crime banking fraud has increased tremendously in the past two years with trends like banking apps, online banking, mobile banking, phishing, vishing, smishing,
e-mail hacking and business e-mail compromise becoming prominent.

The crime causes the country to lose millions each year according to crime statistics released last year by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric).

Comedian and businessman Kedibone Mulaudzi recently fell victim to cyber crime.

Mulaudzi lost R9,000 when a hacker hacked his manager's e-mail and obtained valuable information about his clients.

He said the hacker managed to send e-mails to the clients, asking them not to pay into his original FNB account but into a Nedbank account.

The crime happened on November 26 and Mulaudzi's FNB account was frozen by the bank.

"The freezing of my account put my life on a standstill. I could not do business while on the other side, I lost money."

Mulaudzi and his manager Thabo Tshetshe both opened a case of fraud at the Midrand police station on November 29.

Midrand police spokesperson Cpt Dave Miller confirmed the case was opened and still being investigated.

FNB's Daniel Kaan said: "FNB can confirm that the account is now active, and the outcome has been communicated to the customer.

"Due to client confidentiality, we cannot provide any further details."

Sabric said in its statement that combined gross card fraud losses on SA-issued cards saw an 18% increase from 2017 to 2018, totaling R873m, with credit card fraud increasing by 18.4% and debit card fraud increasing by 17.5%.

Card Not Present (CNP) fraud on SA-issued credit cards remained the leading contributor to gross fraud losses in the country, accounting for 79.5% of all losses.

CNP debit card fraud showed the greatest increase in losses at 62.3%, due to the enablement of Card Not Present transactions on debit cards.

In 2018, lost and/or stolen debit card fraud amounted to 42.5% of all debit card fraud and bank customers continue to fall victim to fraud at ATMs while transacting.

Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay said: "Criminals approach victims under the pretext of being helpful, and in many instances even pose as a bank official.

"They then steal the victim's bank card and shoulder surf to obtain the PIN. Sabric therefore urges bank clients to never accept assistance from anyone at an ATM, no matter how friendly or helpful they may appear."

In 2018, 23,466 incidents across banking apps, online banking and mobile banking amounted to R262m in gross losses. It is concerning that incidents across these platforms increased by 75,3%.

Mobile banking incidents showed an increase of 100%, with gross losses of R28m, while online banking incidents increased 37.5% with gross losses of R129m.

Banking app incidents increased by 55.4%, with gross losses of R104m. SIM swaps in the mobile banking space saw an increase of over 200% to 11,077 incidents.

Sabric has encouraged people to be vigilant during the festive season and not share any personal information without careful consideration.

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