Spotting scam emails is getting more difficult as scammers are getting smarter and they have become more active during the COVID 19 pandemic as people are spending more time on their computers and the internet. People are also more likely to fall for scams where money is promised due to the financial strain COVID has caused. We would like to offer some pointers to avoid these scams.
Please contact us if you need help or are unsure. We are happy to help.
A helpful application to load on your cellphone is Truecaller. It is available via the Google play store and helps with identifying scam calls and sms’s
SMS SCAMS and Whats app scams
- Service providers will never ask for your information via sms
- No institution will tell you that you have to pay funds in order to get money from them
- All official South african institutions have email addresses and websites that end in .gov.za
- No institution will give you a bank account number that is linked to a person or another bank.
- They will never sms you the bank details
- They will never speak to you over whats app
Official bank accounts and institutions
- All official institutions will be listed as on your banking application as a public recipient.
- Most banks offer a way to check account numbers to see if they correspond to account holders.
- All banks have a department that you can contact if you are not sure about an email, payment or correspondence.
Proof of payment
- Scammers can fake proof of payment documents.
- if you are selling something or providing a service, make sure the funds are in your account before hand.
- the same can be said for paying someone for a service.
- rather work with a deposit.
- if you are selling something or providing a service, get a deposit before you do anything.
- if you are paying for a service or buying something, pay a deposit and pay the rest on receipt.
- Do not trust proof of payment sms’s or emails. they can easily be faked. you can forward these to your bank or the ‘sending’ bank to confirm legitimacy.
Inheritance and winnings
- If you have inherited money from a relative, you will never be requested to pay in order to get the money.
- you will meet with the official estate lawyer and any fees will be deducted from the inheritance before it is paid to you.
- fees on property will be calculated after transfer and you will then be billed.
- if you win money, they will never ask you to pay them to get it. as with inheritance, all fees will be paid before the funds are transferred to you.
- you will also not win anything unless you have entered a competition or lottery. you will never win something based on your cellphone number.
- especially not from overseas. the lottery overseas does not have a list of south african phone numbers.
- there is no pension schemed, medical aid rebate or any other official payment that gets paid out to you after you pay them.
- medical aid funds, pension funds etc are all deducted from you monthly and you need to place official claims with the providers in order to be paid out.
- you will never have to pay them a lump sum in order to ‘activate’ your pension fund.
- email scammers are usually looking for your login details
- if they get your email logins they can access your accounts, change your passwords and more.
- no provider will ever ask for your email password.
- the only time you will ever need to provide your email password is if a technician is setting up your emails on your device.
- below are some examples of email scams.
- always check the addresses that the mails are coming from and also check the top browser bar when clicking on a link to make sure its where you want to be.
- dont download any documents
- never enter your login details into documents
- passwords on documents need to be provided to you by the person sending them.
- they will never be your login details.
- you will never be asked to enter your login details to upgrade your email box over an email
- always contact your hosting provider if there is a problem or you receive a notice of any kind.