Capitec has warned South Africans of a banking scam that’s becoming more common in the country. Vishing or voice phishing is a form of cyber crime where fraudsters will try to persuade people to share important confidential information by pretending to be bank officials or service providers.
This is done by means of social engineering tactics, where scammers have become so sophisticated that they can now add music or call centre sounds to make it seem like it’s really the bank on the phone.
According to BusinessTech, head of forensic services at Capitec, Jimmy Sounes, addressed the vishing concern by saying:
“Social engineering sees fraudsters convince a target to share their information, by gaining their trust. For example, the criminal might read you your account number or ask you if you still have a debit order for a certain store. They’ll know something personal about you.
“They pretend to be your bank’s forensic department. They may say there’s a big fraud on your account that you need to stop.
“Or that there’s a massive $10,000 debit order from overseas about to go off. Their aim is to make you panic and share your personal details over the phone. They might even ask you to make transactions or add beneficiaries to your account.
“They’re extremely convincing. A big problem is people tend to underestimate how believable the fraudsters can be. It’s a structured operation run like a business,” he said.
Sounes stressed that banks will never call you to ask for personal information over the phone. “We want people to get into the habit of never sharing their personal information with anyone. You wouldn’t give your house keys to a stranger, for example, so why would you share your pin?” he added.
He further suggested reporting all cases of fraud to the bank immediately.
“Even if you don’t fall victim to the attempt, please consider contacting your bank so they can double-check your account is secure. Their forensics team will also attempt to investigate the number that contacted you. All banks have a 24/7 fraud hotline you can call,” Sounes said.