How to keep your bonus and stokvel money safe this festive season

Sabric has cautioned clients to be wary about people offering to assist them at ATMs. Stock photo.
Image: Popov

As companies prepare to pay bonuses and stokvel dividends are split ahead of the festive season, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) says people need to make sure their money is safe from criminals.

Sabric said criminals took advantage of the fact that people were more relaxed and socially active towards the end of the year, and used this time to steal information that gives them access to bank accounts.

“Sabric encourages people to empower themselves by sharing information selectively, and only on a need-to-know basis. This is why we are adding the hashtag label #NotSaying to all our messaging, to remind people to not just share any personal information without careful consideration when prompted to do so,” said Susan Potgieter, Sabric acting CEO.

Confidential and personal information to be careful of sharing included usernames and passwords, pin numbers, ID numbers, addresses and card details, to name a few.

Potgieter warned consumers of being duped by criminals who posed as bank officials calling to verify such information over the phone.

Another way to scam people during the festive period was to trick them into paying for holiday accommodation that does not exist, Sabric said.

“This scam sees criminals preying on people’s anxiety about booking a last-minute holiday. Victims are lured with what seems to be a really good deal, pay for the holiday in full and are then unable to make further arrangements with the agent who has simply disappeared,” the risk centre said.

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