Earlier this year, it was revealed that statistics reflected a rise in identity fraud throughout South Africa. According to the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service’s (SAFPS), there is an increase in fraudsters making use of real-life Identity Documents (ID) and names for impersonations have increased by 99% since 2018.
Incidences of fraudsters making use of fabricated names and ID numbers have decreased by 48% since 2018.
According to the SAFPS, you can protect yourself in the following ways:
– Shredding all documents – such as bank statements – that contain your personal information
– Be attentive at ATMs and always protect your pin number
– Use ‘strong’ passwords for all your accounts to prevent easy deciphering
– Never respond to an e-mail or SMS that asks you to insert or update your personal and banking information by clicking on a website link provided in the content of the message. Instead, copy and paste the link into your internet browser, as this will enable you to determine whether you are accessing an authentic website
– Offer to call back people who call from unknown numbers to request your personal information
– Be careful what information you share about yourself on social media, and always make use of privacy settings
– IDs and passports must only be carried when absolutely necessary
SAFPS runs a protective service to ensure that all its clients are protected from real-life identity theft following the rise in these incidents.
“Through our free protective registration service, we save innocent members of the public from becoming victims of impersonation in South Africa. Safeguard your identity and register lost or stolen identity books and passports today,” the service explanation reads.
You can reigister to protect your identity here.
Also read: 39% of SA’s phone calls are fraud related