Digital Banking Crime Statistics In South Africa

Digital Banking Crime Statistics In South Africa

In 2017, SIM swap fraud in South Africa sat at 4 040. This year, the numbers have doubled, currently sitting at 8 254, according to inaugural digital banking crime statistics of the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC).

The stats were released on Thursday and provide a grim picture of how criminals are continuously outsmarting citizens and keep taking more from our hard-earned cash.

Banking apps, online banking and mobile banking

SABRIC revealed that, compared to last year, the digital banking sector saw 7% in gross losses due to scams. In 2017, 13 438 incidents across banking apps, online banking and mobile banking cost the industry more than R250-million in gross losses.

In 2018, from January until now, there have been 64% more incidents. However small 7% is in a greater context, scammers have still managed to hurt the sector with about R267 500 000 in gross losses so far.

Mobile banking incidents grew in 2018, by 100% with gross losses of R23 593 631.

Online banking increased by 44% in 2018, reporting gross losses that amount to R89 368 722.

Kaylani Pillay, the CEO of SABRIC, warned about underestimating the smarts of criminals in South Africa.

“Criminals are always looking for ways to exploit digital platforms to defraud victims, but the mitigation strategies deployed by Banks are very robust, so it is easier to target people, as they are the weakest link.” she added.

Pillay added that criminals prey on victims who are not digitally literate and with a little twist to get enough information out of an unsuspecting target, it becomes easy to bypass the banks’ sophisticated security protocols.

SIM swop scams still trick South Africans

The incidents may be lesser than the ones mentioned above but it is shocking that people still fall for these kinds of scams.

Incredibly, the incidents this year have doubled as compared to last year. In 2017, there have been 4 040 from January to August. This year, around the same period, there have been 8 254, an increase of 104%.

Although the efforts of SABRIC and the SAPS have been helpful in some capacity, it still does not stop the criminals from devising new ways to tricking an unsuspecting target into giving away his personal information.

By Andile Sicetsha, THE SOUTH AFRICAN

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