Scams


Scams
A scam is any fraudulent business or deceitful scheme performed by a dishonest individual, group or company attempting to take money or something of value from an innocent, and often unsuspecting, individual. Since the rise of the internet, new forms of online scams have emerged, and fraudulent behaviour has since increased. Ultimately, it is up to us to stay informed about common scamming activities and be aware and cautious when active and using confidential information online.

What does a scam look like?
Scams come in many shapes and forms—an email, SMS, phone call or malware—and anyone can be victim to one. Scams often ask for your personal details and confidential information and this is the first step to knowing what to look out for.

It could be a scam if…
• The information presented to you sounds too good to be true.
• The offer, prize or communication has come out of the blue and you have not entered the competition or applied for the information that is being spoken of.
• The message requires a very quick response time to clarify your information or win the prize. This puts you under pressure and doesn’t give you much time to think about the validity of the information or talk to people you trust about the situation.
• You receive the information via a free email, for example, Hotmail, Aim, Yahoo or Gmail.
• You are promised large sums of money for very little, or no effort on your part.
• You are requested to provide money upfront, for whatever reason, before the proposed transaction can take place.
• You are requested to confirm personal or account details via a hyperlink, icon or attachment in an email or telephonically.

Types of scams:

  • What is a phishing scam

    Phishing is an email scam, where fraudsters send emails to individuals and claim to be from a reliable organisation, such as a banking institution or an email service provider.

     

    The email will attempt to trick you into supplying your account information for a number of reasons, such as your account information needing to be updated or validated, by asking you to click on a link or icon found within the email. Once clicked on, the link will launch a fake website that resembles a real website. On the website, you will be asked to share your personal bank account information, such as your username or password for your online banking profile or email account, or even your cell phone number and bank card details. Any information that you share on the fake website is captured by the fraudsters and then used to defraud you.

     

    How to identify a phishing scam

    • There is usually a sense of urgency in the email, followed by a threat—the suspension of your bank account, for example—and you are required to respond quickly. This doesn’t give you much time to think about the situation at hand or speak to people you trust.
    • The email states that you have been a victim of fraud, or have received funds, and you need to log in to your accounts ‘here’ to report the incident and cancel your bank card, or give permission to release the sum of money.
    • You are required to supply your personal and account details via a hyperlink, attachment or icon, provided in the email.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a vishing scam?

    A vishing scam is a common electronic technique that attempts to access your personal and account details using a telephone call.

    You receive an unverified SMS stating that a Standard Bank official will contact you shortly to update or verify your account details and personal information. The scammers then contact you telephonically asking you to update or verify your information. You oblige, providing them with all the necessary information they need to access your bank account. Remember, Standard Bank will never ask for your banking details, password, PIN or One Time Password (OTP) over the phone.

    How to identify a vishing scam

    • There is a sense of urgency in the phone call, followed by a threat: your account will be suspended should you not supply or verify the necessary information immediately. This doesn’t give you much time to think about the situation at hand or speak to people you trust.
    • You are requested to update, verify or confirm your personal account information such as bank account number, PIN and/or password telephonically.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a smishing scam?

    A smishing scam attempts to access your personal and confidential information via an SMS.

    You receive an SMS proposing to be from a recognised organisation, such as Standard Bank, requesting you to contact a toll-free number. When contacting the toll-free number, you’re met by a fake automated voice-response system prompting you to provide sensitive details such as your account number, password and PIN. Once the necessary information has been supplied, the scammers have access to the details and can use the information as they wish. Remember, Standard Bank will never ask for your banking details, password, PIN or OTP over the phone.

    Smishing scams are becoming more common, as well as dangerous, owing to the increased popularity of mobile banking. Nowadays, people use their smartphones for everything including online banking, so there is a lot of sensitive information at risk if the phone is exposed to fraudulent behaviour.

    How to identify a smishing scam

    • There is a sense of urgency, followed by a threat—if you don’t update or verify your information now, your account will be suspended—and you are encouraged to respond quickly. This doesn’t give you much time to think about the situation at hand or speak to people you trust.
    • The SMS requests you to call a toll-free number.
    • You are required to update, verify or confirm your personal details and confidential account information, such as bank account number, PIN and/or password, telephonically.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a 419 scam?

    A 419 scam, or advance fee scam, is a form of upfront payment or money transfer scam.

    You receive an email, fax or letter containing an offer promising you large amounts of money (via an inheritance, lotto winning etc.). In order to gain access to the funds, you are requested to pay an upfront fee. Various reasons are given for the upfront fee including exchange control fees, customs duty fees and bank charges. Although the exact details of a 419 scam varies, very large amounts of money are usually involved. Essentially, once you have made the advance payment, the scammers has received everything that they want from you and may cease communication. Needless to say, the promised transaction never takes place.

    419 scammers are also known to create spoofed websites in an attempt to validate the intended 419 scam. In addition to the email, you may be given login details for a false website that appears to be Standard Bank’s internet banking. The fake webpage will show you your inflated bank balance. The hope is that if you see a larger bank balance, you will more likely fall victim to the 419 scam.

    How to identify a 419 scam

    • Out of the blue, you receive an unbelievable promise of large sums of money (usually millions of dollars or pounds) for little or no effort on your part.
    • You have no idea where this proposed money is coming from.
    • You are requested to provide money upfront, as a processing or administration fee, in order to access the funds.
    • There is usually a sense of urgency, followed by an emotional bribe (someone has passed away or is suffering from an illness), prompting you to respond quickly. This doesn’t give you much time to think about the situation at hand or speak to the people you trust.
    • You do not know the people who have sent the communication, although they usually claim to be in a position of authority from a trusted organisation.
    • You are required to supply your personal and account details via a hyperlink, attachment or icon provided in the email.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a spoofed website scam?

    A spoofed website claims to be the legitimate website of a particular organisation, and is set up to mimic the original website.

    Spoofed websites usually have similar logos to the original organisation that they are mimicking and, in some cases, may even be identical. Typically, the intention of a spoofed website is to associate a scam with a reputable institution, and is set up to validate other scams such as the 419 or phishing scam.

     

    How to identify a spoofed website scam

    • You are required to click on a hyperlink, attachment or icon provided in an email you are sent directing you to the spoofed website, rather than typing in the URL directly into the browser.
    • You are required to disclose personal details or account information on the website you were directed to via the email you receive.
    • The spoofed website, accessed via the given hyperlink in the email, does not have one of Standard Bank’s official website addresses or URLs that you usually use to access information or use to access online banking.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a deposit and refund scam?

    The deposit and refund scam attempts to steal goods or services from a business without actually making the necessary payments.

    Scammers will order goods or services from your business, supposedly making the payment into your account. This is done mostly by means of a fraudulent or stolen cheque. A fake proof of payment is then sent to you, and your business delivers the goods to the perpetrator. Later on, it is uncovered that the cheque is fraudulent and that no funds were transferred to your business’ account. In other instances, the scammer may cancel the order and request an urgent refund.

    Alternatively, scammers may also deposit a fraudulent cheque into your account only to then contact you stating that they ‘mistakenly’ deposited funds into your account. The caller will ask you to refund the amount immediately, and will send you the proof of payment.

     

    How to identify a deposit and refund scam

    • You are requested to refund an individual urgently after he has cancelled his order, or the payment is made in ‘error’.
    • You are requested to refund an individual urgently before you have time to verify with Standard Bank that the deposit was made into your account and that it is indeed valid.
    • You don’t know the supposed person requesting the refund.
    • You are not sure whether the payment is a cheque deposit or not.
    • You are unable to phone the requestor on a predetermined number to confirm the request.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a change of banking details scam?

    A change of banking details scam attempts to steal funds through supplying false information of a change of bank account details. 

    You receive an email, letter or fax supposedly from a recognised supplier. The communication informs you of a change in bank account details and asks you to update your records accordingly. These ‘new’ bank account details are, however, false. Your monthly payment is therefore paid to the scammer and not your supplier as originally intended. Always be wary of changing account details. If a request is received, before changing anything, first confirm with the respective supplier, with a contact you trust, in writing or by telephone.

    How to identify a change of banking details scam

    • The request you receive to change your supplier’s bank account details doesn’t come from your usual ‘contact’ or point of contact at the supplier.
    • The request for change of bank details wasn’t made via official correspondence or using the contact details that you have in your database.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

    What is a SIM swap scam? (title in an accordion)

    In a SIM swap scam, scammers perform a SIM swap without your knowledge, allowing them to intercept phone calls, SMSs and messages.

    Typically, the SIM swap takes place after the scammers have received your login details as a result of you responding to, for example, a phishing email. Once scammers have access to your cellphone number and other personal information, they can pose as you and request a new SIM card from your cellular service provider. They will then have access to your phone calls and SMSs, including the OTP SMS facility as well as any other notifications they could use to their fraudulent advantage.

    How to identify a SIM swap scam

    • You are suddenly no longer receiving calls or messages on your cellphone.
    • You do not receive the OTP you have requested, even when trying a second time.
    • Your cellphone suddenly has no network signal in a usual network area.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a keylogger scam?

    A keylogger scam is a software or hardware computer program that records and logs every keystroke entered on the particular computer. The keylogger helps scammers to save and gain access to confidential information.

    Once a keylogger scam has been put in place, scammers can access the keystroke details via a file on the respective computer, or can have the details sent to them anonymously via email. The keylogger records every keystroke entered on the computer, including personal and confidential details such as passwords, PINs and usernames. This private information can then be used for fraudulent activities.

    Keylogger scammers often target internet cafés, owing to the convenience of the computer terminals and anonymity attached to them. Scammers insert the spyware into the computers, recording every keystroke typed on the various keyboards. The keyloggers log any information and actions taken on the computers including private login details for internet banking profiles, email account profiles, Facebook profiles etc. and then forward the recorded details to the scammers at large, enabling them to log in and access the respective profiles.

     

    How to identify a keylogger scam

    • Keyloggers could be hidden in an email attachment, can be installed via a memory stick or can be installed via rogue apps and malicious websites. Be wary when other untrusted individuals use your computer, for whatever reason.
    • Always be alert to computer hardware or software changes.
    • Be cautious when using internet cafés. Don’t disclose any confidential information on a public, unfamiliar computer.
    • You have received an unfamiliar email containing unknown attachments and hyperlinks. Don’t open any emails, attachments or hyperlinks from unknown sources.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a dating and romance scam?

    A dating and romance scam typically attempts to play on an individual’s emotional and compassionate side in an attempt to steal funds.

     

    Scammers create fake profiles on legitimate dating websites or social media platforms to meet new people and, in time, lure them into their con. They will invite you to be their friend or talk to them online and are experts at sharing fake personal information in order to build trust and create a relationship with you. Once they have established the desired connection, they may try to convince you to send them money, or disclose sensitive information, either to help them out of a personal crisis or so that you pay for their travel expenses to apparently visit you. Once you have sent them the funds, it is likely you will never hear from them again.

     

    How to identify a dating and romance scam

    • You receive a friend notification or invite from an individual you don’t recognise or know.
    • You have only spoken to the individual online via a dating website or social media platform.
    • You have never met in person, only conversed online, and they are asking you for an upfront payment or to disclose sensitive details.
    • You notice an inconsistency in the communication that is sent to you.
    • They have an out-of-the-ordinary job—they work in the army or air force—and need you to help them financially.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

  • What is a holiday scam?

    A holiday scam seeks to exploit potential holiday makers by falsely advertising ideal holiday packages, accommodation or timeshare on the internet via legitimate-looking, professional classified adverts or websites.

    You come across a website or are sent an email promoting an incredible holiday package. The deal is only running for a couple hours, so before time runs out, you quickly purchase the accommodation package through the website, which you believe to be genuine, using your credit card details. The purchase goes through; however, you never receive the package you paid for. The website, and deal, was fake. The holiday scammers now have access not only to your funds but also to your bank account details, which they can use fraudulently.

    How to identify a holiday scam

    • If the holiday package sounds too good to be true, it most probably is.
    • You come across the accommodation deal on a website you do not recognise or are sent the promotion via an unsolicited email.
    • The URL begins with ‘http’ not ‘https’.
    • There is a sense of urgency with the holiday deal: you only have five hours left before the deal closes, or there are only two packages left. This doesn’t give you much time to think about the situation at hand or talk to the people you trust.
    • You are encouraged to disclose personal information quickly online.
    • In the email you receive, you are required to click on the hyperlink, attachment or icon to view and pay for the holiday package.
    • You are unable to contact a reputable agency to confirm the holiday package. The contact details include foreign phone numbers, or the owner / property manager is not responding to emails.

    Report a scam
    Fraud: 0800 222 050 
    Whistle blowing: 0800 113 443 
    Standard Bank Lost/Stolen Cards: 0800 020 600 
    ATM Claims Centre: 0860 102 213 (08.00–16:30) 
    Standard Bank Customer Contact Centre: 0860 123 000 (weekdays: 08:00–21:00) and (weekends / public holidays: 08:00–16:00)

     

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