A sharp increase in identity fraud across the country has been noted by The South African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS). The number of fraudsters using real IDs and names have increased by a whopping 99% on 2018’s figures.
While the level of fraudsters making use of fabricated IDs has reduced by 48% compared to 2018, an increase has been noted in the number of combination forged documents being used to commit fraud. These include falsified employment details, forged pay slips and false qualifications.
SAFPS has a list of ways to remain vigilant to protect yourself against fraud, and these include:
- Shred all documents that contain your personal information and do not throw anything away that someone else could use to impersonate you.
- Always remain attentive at ATMs and ensure that no-one is attempting to gain access to your pin number.
- Make sure all your accounts have strong passwords that are not easy to decipher.
- 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. Rather copy and paste the link into your internet browser, as this will enable you to determine whether you are accessing an authentic website, or not.
- If you receive a call from an unknown individual who requests personal information, rather offer to call them back to verify that the number they have given you in fact belongs to the correct company. Also, ask them to give you the personal information that they need to confirm, instead of providing the details yourself.
- Be very selective with the type of information that you share on social media sites and make use of privacy settings.
- Only carry identification documentation such as your passport or identity book when it’s absolutely necessary and keep these documents safely locked away when not in use.
- Do not get taken in by scammers who send messages telling you that you have won a prize, or inherited money.