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How to avoid phishing scams | #socialmedia | #hacking | #aihp

CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson chats to consumer journalist Wendy Knowler on her weekly #ConsumerTalk feature.

  • Telling fraudsters apart from genuine companies is getting more and more tricky, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler
  • She’s warned consumers to watch out for fraudulent emails, text messages, and bogus websites that seem legitimate

Image: © Nuttapong Punna /

As online fraudsters become more sophisticated, it’s getting tougher for South African consumers to spot a phishing scam.

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler says cybercriminals are getting slicker at imitating legitimate companies in their emails, calls, websites, and even social media pages.

“It’s getting harder and harder to tell the real companies from the imposters”, she tells CapeTalk.

RELATED: TransUnion not keen to pay hackers $15m ransom, South Africans’ info at risk

Phishing scams are when fraudsters create fake emails to try to gain access to your secure personal information such as your banking details or passwords.

Due to the rise in clone websites and fake email addresses, Knowler says it’s important for consumers to always verify the legitimacy of an email or website.

She’s warned consumers about an email scam involving a fake loan offer purportedly from Direct Axis.

In the scam, the cybercriminals offer high loan amounts at very low interest rates but they ask for a payment fee and all your personal details to get the loan.

No financial services company will ask you to pay money to secure a loan, Knowler advises.

As a general rule, she says consumers should never share their passwords or one-time pin (OTP) with anyone telephonically or online.

RELATED: BEWARE! Digital Fraud on the rise in SA: Here are tips to avoid falling victim

The clue is that legitimate loan providers will never ask you for a fee upfront. That’s not a thing… The same goes for job offers… candidates don’t ever pay money upfront in legitimate recruitment.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Forget about how good the site looks. There’s one thing that will out the fraudsters: They ask you for a fee when you are asking them for a loan. The money is going one way and it’s from your account into theirs.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Them having your information… does not mean they can open up loans in your name and get into your bank account… they need you to help them do that, hence the advice: Don’t give them any of your banking details.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

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