More than half of South African users (59%) faced banking fraud at least once in the first half of 2020, according to a recent Kaspersky survey.

In most of the cases (74%) the banking fraud occurred via the phone, while the calls were received mainly during business hours: Monday to Thursday, from 11am to 6pm.

Fraudsters are seriously preparing for such calls and are actively using social engineering methods. In 40% of cases, they mentioned the correct name and surname of the person whom they called and in 20% of cases they even knew bank card credentials.

The most common myths were the need to confirm the data (60%), information about the banking card blocking (44%) and the loan offer (62%). In 26% of the cases, the criminals were trying to get a code from SMS or card data, and in 35% of the cases they tried to convince a person to transfer money to an allegedly secure account.

The average damage caused by banking fraud amounts to $47.00 (about R765.00) per incident in South Africa, the survey found.

“Financial scams continue to grow, in particular the share of those who faced financial malware in the first three quarters of 2020 nearly doubled in comparison with the previous year in South Africa,” says Amin Hasbini, head of Middle East Research Centre: Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky.

“But at the same time, unfortunately, many people still do not know how to recognise criminals and lose money as a result of simple scam schemes. In case of a phone scam it’s better to end the conversation and call the bank’s official number should there be any suspicion.”