Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
Identity theft and concomitant crimes are on the increase in South Africa causing millions of rands in damages to unsuspecting victims and businesses.
Both businesses and individuals need to pay special attention in their day to day dealings so as to minimize their exposure.
The SAFPS issued the following guidelines to prevent and minimize the occurrence of identity theft and fraud :-
- 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 ATM’s 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.
Should any individual or business become aware of any fraudulent activity they should immediately report same to the SAFPS making use of their online registration facility, which can be found at https://www.safps.org.za/CreatePR.aspx
Registration will ensure that any credit provider, supplier or merchant, subscribing to the SAFPS system, will treat any transaction involving your credentials with utmost care.
In view of the number of businesses falling victim to fraudulent transactions, it would be highly recommended to register as a member with SAFPS and to do the relevant security checks before engaging in any transaction susceptible to fraud or identity theft.