Fraud in South Africa can Include:

Article Published:March 22

  • Identity fraud:
    • Identity fraud is the stealing of a person’s identity to do harm.
    • It relates to Identity documents being stolen and used by the perpetrator.
    • Illegal identity documents being made using illegal means through copying or duplicating of authentic documents.
    • Fraudulent passports created for persons attempting to bypass the legal routes of obtaining them.
  • Fraudulent passports created for persons attempting to bypass the legal routes of obtaining them.
    • Card fraud ie financial fraud includes the following:
      • Cards which are lost or stolen are encoded with new information.
      • Card information which is stolen when the card or cardholder is not present for the purchase eg buying online goods.
      • A person presents themselves as the card owner, which they are not.
      • Cards which are intercepted before they reach the legitimate owner.
    • Some people find themselves married to people they don’t know due to identity fraud.
    • How to avoid being a victim of fraud:
      • Use vigilance, at ATMS, shops and in any scenario where your card is being used.
      • Check bank statement for transactions made.
      • Do not give anyone your pin or card.
      • Do not accept help from a stranger when you are working with your card.
      • Track your new cards as far as possible.
      • Use only secure sites with the security options when doing online purchases.
      • Never send card details and if you have to send them, split up the information between different mediums..
      • Never use an ATM which has a foreign object attached, or which has been tampered with to avoid card fraud.
      • For ATMS that have been tampered with, move to another location or check that you are not being moved to a location where the ATMs have been tampered with. .
    • Delete all the SPAM emails informing you of prizes, bargains etc that you might receive, they might be used as email fraud.
    • When working from a public location, ensure that you use firewalls and protection available to youthis may help prevent you falling into email fraud or even identity fraud.
  • How to avoid fraud for Card not Present fraud:
    • Shred bank statements invoices or receipts, information on your statement may be used to for card fraud .
    • Report irregular transaction immediately.
    • Card Swapping:

      Fraud done by swapping the authentic card with the fraudulent card to retrieve confidential information. This may occur simultaneously with card fraud and identity fraud.

    • Card Skimming:

      the highest risk of card skimming is at the ATM, and can occur any time that your card is presented for swiping. Card skimming is a method of retrieving the persons’ private details from the back of the magnetic strip. It can also occur at any point when the card is being presented aside from ATM’s (Automatic teller machines).

    • Passwords, identity numbers and banking information is stolen from an individual using authentic looking banking or financial sites. This is also identity theft

      Perpetrators attempt to trick the account holder into disclosing confidential information to access their accounts

      Fraudsters doing email fraud may use similar email addresses as trusted ones to gather send malwares or viruses in order to gain access or steal information

    • Email fraud:

      Phishing scams are rampant where personal information is retrieved using fraudulent and fake sites or SPAM emails or sms.

  • Avoid Phishing Fraud by:
    • • Never responding to emails from banks with personal details.
    • • Banks will NEVER ask you to confirm the details online.
    • • Don’t save any of your confidential data on any electronic device.
    • • Use the protective firewalls available.
    • • Don’t duplicate passwords on different accounts.
    • • Ensure passwords are secure, add in numbers instead of letters.
    • • Do not share details with anyone, even officials at the financial institutions.
    • • Ensure you are logged out after each session online.
  • Risk factors for fraud::
  • Check the size of the item and value.

    • • Higher item value = higher risk
    • • Age of the person – the elderly are more at risk for elderly fraud and phishing scams due to not understanding the risks involved or the increased need for assistance. .
    • • Recording of the transactions – fewer records means that the fraud is more difficult to trace.
    • • Simple transactions are lower risks than more complicated transactions which can be manipulated.
    • • Fail-safe checks – when there are multiple people involved in the processes for a transaction, there is a reduced incidence of fraud eg multiple layers of checks for procuring assets.
    • • Auditing reduces the occurrence of fraud as there is higher answerability.

    Furthermore, if the person being stalked finds out about this illegal surveillance, the entire case can backfire, plus the investigator and client may end up being sued or even arrested. It is a private investigator’s duty to ensure that they always have a legitimate purpose for investigating.

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