Fraudulent Proof of Payment Scams

Fraudulent Proof of Payment Scam Tips

Please take note of the following information when receiving proof of payment:

  1. Check what type of deposit was made i.e. cash deposits or electronic transfer of funds.
  2. For electronic transfer of funds either verify the payment with the customer’s bank and/or wait for the funds to reflect in your account.
  3. With cash deposits check your bank account to ensure funds have been deposited. Never be pressured, regardless of who is requesting the release of goods.
  4. Check the proof of payment presented to you for signs that it may be fraudulent such as, spelling mistakes, text which is not properly aligned, different fonts used, errors and possible changes to the banking details.


ATM Scams

What are ATM Scams?

  • Card Trapping

Card Trapping happens through a device that is fixed to the ATM for stealing the physical card. One method is to put a device on the machine that uses tape, wire or thread in order to hold a card in. Criminals can then retrieve cards using tweezers.

  • Card Skimming

Skimming refers to the stealing of the electronic card data, enabling the criminal to counterfeit the card. Consumers experience a normal ATM transaction and are usually unable to notice a problem until their account is defrauded. Criminals will socialise with the victim convincing them that they are from a bank and get them to swipe their cards through a skimming device. An accomplice who is loitering around the ATM then “shoulder surfs” to steal the victim’s PIN.

  • Types of skimming 

Handheld card skimming devices

Handheld card skimming devices are widely used by criminals to steal bank card information from victims at ATMs.

The stolen card information is used to manufacture a counterfeit card with the matched PIN is used to make fraudulent transactions.

ATM-mounted card skimming devices

Card skimming devices can be also be mounted to an ATM.

Manufactured to match the look of the ATM it is installed on; it makes it difficult to recognise these devices. Before you withdraw money at an ATM, you should always inspect the machine and cover the number pad with your free hand when entering your PIN.

ATM Scam Tips

ATM’s are generally very safe but they sometimes attract criminal attention so you still need to follow common sense precautions when withdrawing cash because they can sometimes be a focus of criminal activities. 

DO’S at ATM’s

  • Remain aware of your surroundings without allowing anything or anyone to distract you while doing your ATM banking
  • Put your personal safety first. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable cancel the transaction and use a different machine.
  • Be alert.  If someone is crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction and go to another machine. Do not accept help from seemingly well-meaning strangers and never allow yourself to be distracted. Be cautious of strangers offering to help as they could be trying to distract you in order to get your card or PIN details
  • Stand close to the cash machine. Always shield the keypad with your free hand and your body to avoid anyone seeing you enter your PIN
  • Approach an ATM only under the right conditions for your own security, be alert and conscious of your surroundings
  • Choose a familiar and well-lit ATM where you are more visible and safe
  • Scan the area for suspicious-looking characters before you approach the ATM
  • If you think the ATM is faulty cancel the transaction. IMMEDIATELY, report the fault to your bank and try another ATM to transact
  • Have your card ready in your hand before you approach the ATM to avoid opening your purse, bag or wallet while in the queue
  • Follow the instructions on the ATM screen carefully
  • Once you have completed a transaction put your money and card away before leaving the cash machine. If the cash machine does not return your card, report its loss immediately to your card company. Destroy or preferably shred your cash machine receipt, mini-statement or balance enquiry when you dispose of them.

DON’TS at ATM’s

  • Do not ask anyone to assist you with your ATM transaction, not even the security guarding the ATM or a bank official. Rather go inside the bank for help
  • Never force your card into the slot as it might have been tampered with

General Tips at the ATM:

 PIN Protection

  • Your PIN is your personal key to secure banking and it is crucial to keep it that way
  • Memorize your PIN, never write it down or share it with anyone, not even with your family member or a bank official
  • Do not use an obvious or guessable PIN such as your birth date, and change it often
  • Don’t let anyone stand too close to you in order to keep both your card and PIN safe
  • Shield the keypad when entering your PIN to ensure that no one can see it

Protecting your Cash

  • Some fraudsters wait until you’ve drawn your cash to take advantage. Be wary of people loitering around the ATM and be careful you are not followed
  • Take your time to complete your transaction and secure your card and your cash in your wallet, handbag or pocket before leaving the ATM
  • Check your balance regularly and report discrepancies IMMEDIATELY


Phishing Scams

What is Phishing?

PHISHING: Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information. Criminals create emails that appear legitimate and are from recognized brands such as a bank, credit card companies or retailers in order to bring consumers to a website that resembles the original. The consumers are then tricked into divulging financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames, passwords and social security numbers.

Phishing emails often include poor use of grammar, exaggerations and at times spelling mistakes. Once this information has been obtained by the fraudsters, this enables them to load various fraudulent accounts as beneficiaries; thereafter transferring the victim’s funds.

What can you do to avoid becoming a phishing victim?

  • NEVER respond to emails that appear to be from your Bank requesting any personal details. Banks will NEVER request personal information from a customer via email.
  • Never follow a link on an email to access your Bank’s website.
  • Do not utilise public access points to do your banking e.g. Internet Cafes or any computer other than your own
  • Place sensible limits on your accounts and review them regularly

 General Tips on the Phishing Scam

  • Scrutinise your bank statement regularly.
  • If any irregularities are identified on your bank statements report these immediately to your nearest Branch.
  • Should you receive your monthly statements via mail, and for no apparent reason the statements are no longer being delivered, you need to report this concern to your nearest branch. (The fraudsters could have intercepted your mail for fraudulent purposes.)
  • The bogus websites appear authentic and often are exact copies of the Bank’s genuine website. If you are in doubt, call the Bank to verify the authenticity.
  • Once the fraudsters identify an email address that works, they may send numerous bogus emails

How to report a phishing mail

If you have clicked on the link, and compromised any of your personal details URGENTLY contact your Internet Banking Call Centre to report the incident.


Deposit & Refund Scams

What are Deposit and Refund Scams

Deposit Scam - A deposit scam involves the use of fraudulent deposit slips or internet proof of payment confirmations to trick you into believing that a payment was made into your account and cleared, creating the impression that the payment cannot be returned or reversed. Typically, you'll be asked to hand over goods before you realise you've been scammed.

Refund Scam - A refund scam also involves the use of altered or fraudulent receipts, deposit slips or internet payment confirmations to trick you into believing that a payment has been made into your account and cleared. The fraudster then ask you to refund them the money they paid into your account incorrectly and they disappear with you money.

How are Deposit and Refund Scams Done?

Scenario A – Internet Transfer

  • A supplier is approached by telephone or e-mail with a request to place an urgent order
  • A deal is structured, usually involving a direct deposit to the bank account of the supplier
  • An internet transfer receipt is fraudulently manipulated to reflect a “transfer” to the suppliers account.
  • The transfer could be for the exact amount of the order as in Scenario A, or for an amount in excess of the agreed amount as in Scenario B
  • The fraudulent Internet Receipt is faxed to the supplier
  • The goods are released to the criminals OR the “excess” refunded as previously described
  • The bank account of the supplier is debited with the “refund”, but the incoming transfer never materializes
  • The supplier is unable to contact his “client” and suffers the loss

Scenario B – Credit Card Bookings

  • Merchant receives a Mail Order Booking request
  • Merchant processes booking payment using the Point-of-Sale device
  • Merchant confirms successful payment and booking with fraudster
  • Fraudster cancels the booking and requests refund to a different credit card account
  • Funds are debited from the merchant and credited to second credit card account
  • Original transactions are charged back to the merchant and a loss is incurred by the merchant

Deposit and Refund Scam Tips

  • Wait for clearance. Never rely on proof of payment alone. Rather wait for the funds to be cleared before handing over goods.
  • Use bank-defined beneficiaries. There are hundreds of well-known companies on a prepopulated list you can find on your internet banking profile. If you use these details, you'll know you're paying into the right account.
  • Fraudsters make small mistakes. Look out for little errors on your proof of payment, or possible alterations. These are often signs of fraud.


Mobile Banking Fraud

What is Mobile Banking Fraud?

Mobile Banking fraud is when fraudsters use cell phone banking services like mobile banking apps telephonic conversations to swindle money from bank users.

Mobile Banking Fraud Tips

  • The mobility of your cellphone allows you to bank at any time from practically anywhere. It is a safe way of doing your banking as it relies on encrypted SMS messages or secure WAP connections. WAP uses similar security as that used by Internet Banking. It is therefore important to make sure that your cellphone is locked at all times and that the latest software is downloaded to ensure your safety.
  • Use a password to protect your phone.
  • Never provide personal identification or banking information over your mobile device unless you initiate the contact.
  • Memorise your PIN, never write it down or share it with anyone.
  • Choose an unusual PIN that is hard to guess and change it often.
  • Remember, for your own security you are required to re-enter your PIN before each transaction.
  • If you think your PIN has been compromised visit your nearest branch and change it immediately.
  • Do not leave your phone unlocked.
  • Do not respond to competition SMS’s before you have found out if the competition is real or not.
  • If you use a Smartphone, install an up-to-date anti-virus application to your cellphone. Most banks provides this free of charge to its customers.