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Tis The Season To Be Phishing

Your bank alerts you every time you login to your account "BEWARE OF PHISHING". We all try our best to avoid being scammed, but do you really know what to look out for?

* This is the time of the year when we tend to let our guard down as we start to feel festive.
Be Aware - Don't Be a Victim of Phishing

This week my mother was scammed out of R51 000. The scammers used “phishing” to gain access to her bank accounts. They sounded so legit she didn’t even realise she had been scammed.

We have all heard about phishing scams but up until this week, I didn’t know what it meant. With the festive season upon us scammers will be working harder to come up with new ideas on how they can steal our hard-earned money.


My mother received a call late Friday afternoon, from the scammers, posing as her banks Fraud Department. They advised her that they had reason to believe her credit card had been cloned. The transactions they informed her about were fake, but at that moment, she was concerned about losing all her money, so she got pulled right in because they were ‘helping’ her.

They then advised that they would like to move all her funds into one account to keep it safe and they would then block her account so no one would have access. This sounded like a sensible thing to do. As they moved all her available funds from her bond and cheque account into her credit card she trustingly gave them the OTP’s.

They then proceeded to use her credit card details to spend R51 000 on online purchases. 

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a common scam that attempts to lure you into giving up your username, password, or other sensitive information by masquerading as someone you know and trust. This can be done by phone, but is typically done in email. The email may appear to come from a legitimate source or a company you do business with, and it often asks you to click a link, open an attachment, or reply with your account or personal information.

Tips to Spot Phishing

  • Be suspicious of email alerting you to problems with your account, or those labeled “Urgent”, or require “Immediate Action”.
  • Be suspicious of attachments and only open those that you were expecting.
  • Be suspicious of email from a friend or colleague that look odd or out of place.  If their email account has been compromised by an attacker, it could be used to send phishing email.
  • Examine the sender’s email address.  Be cautious of email addresses you do not recognise, especially those requiring action from you or those with attachments.
  • Examine the underlying URL of any links.  Regardless of how the link is labeled in the email, the URL that the link points to maybe a phishing scam.  Hover your mouse over the link before clicking on it and it will show you the URL. 

Be Suspicious of all calls and emails where your accounts are concerned

  • If someone calls our emails you about your bank accounts, cards, cell phone accounts or any other account.  Ask for their name and call them back on a number you know to be legitimate (check a statement or the internet for the correct contact details).
  • Never ever give out a pin or password to anyone.