/ 25 May 2022

Make online scams less of a danger with Standard Bank

Standard Bank Online Scams
Beware of online and phone scams

The rise in digital fraud is a concern, and the South African public needs to be armed to deal with it. Fraud and digital scams continue to cause serious financial loss for banking customers, as there is an increase in new scams, resulting in the number of victims increasing.

According to the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, 477-million people globally have fallen victim to cybercrimes, with 328.5-million taking place in the 12 months prior to May 2021.

“As a trusted partner, Standard Bank has various digital security measures in place to help consumers conduct their everyday banking with peace of mind. We continue to drive the message that customers ensure they do not fall into the traps that fraudsters set in the digital sphere,” says Carolina Reddy, Head of Fraud Risk Management at Standard Bank. 

One such measure is DigiME, an innovative solution designed to ensure that customers’ digital profiles are strong and secure. It involves a combination of two or more factors to authenticate each customer’s real identity.

“Through the DigiME solution, we are adopting an approach of partnering with our customers to jointly walk this digital journey to help against fraud. This entails a multi-factor authenticator model that leverages something you have, something you know and something you are to verify yourself,” says Reddy.

Banking fraud has become a very lucrative business for online scammers and the banking fraud matters investigated for 2021 alone exceeded R295-million, as per the Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS). The banking sector’s most significant security concerns come in the form of online threats, as banks process millions of transactions daily, with the majority of the transactions done through digital payment platforms. For this reason, banks have become enticing targets for cybercriminals.

Locally, South Africa has the third highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide, and it’s estimated that it costs R2.2-billion a year.

“As a bank it is imperative that our customer’s money is physically protected, but it has become equally imperative for it to be protected from a digital perspective. This is where we want to empower our customers with the knowledge required to avoid getting scammed and falling victims to fraudsters,” says Reddy. 

For more information you can go to: https://www.standardbank.co.za/southafrica/personal/products-and-services/security-centre/bank-safely/bank-securely-with-a-digital-id 


Instant Money Scam 

A fraudster calls a customer, pretending to be from the bank, and advises that there’s fraud on their account, requesting an instant money voucher to be sent to themselves as a verification process. On receipt of the instant money voucher the customer is asked to read back the voucher details and pin to authenticate themselves, but the details are used for the fraudster to cash out the voucher. 

Sim Swaps 

In a SIM swap scam, the fraudsters perform a SIM swap without the customer’s knowledge, allowing them to intercept their phone calls and messages,/effectively taking over their phone number. Typically, the SIM swap takes place after fraudsters have received a customer’s Internet banking sign-in details, following their response to a phishing email or a call. Once fraudsters have access to a customer’s cellphone number and personal details, they can pose as the customer and request a new SIM card from the customer’s network provider. This gives the fraudster access to a customer’s phone calls, messages, OTPs and other notifications. 


A phishing scam uses emails to steal your personal information to access your bank accounts or credit cards. It’s an increasingly sophisticated technique designed to trick you into believing that a message is from a legitimate source so that you’ll click on a fraudulent link, icon or download an attachment to provide your information.  Please be aware that we will NEVER ask for your personal banking information over the phone or send you emails with links that take you to a site where you are required to capture your internet banking details.

Standard Bank notes the below in terms of understanding if something could be a scam or not:

  • What you are offered or promised sounds too good to be true;
  • The offer takes you by surprise, or the prize relates to a competition you never entered;
  • You’re given limited time to confirm your details or win the prize, catching you off guard;
  • You receive the information via a free email address (like Hotmail, Aim, Yahoo or Gmail);
  • You are promised large sums of money for very little or no effort on your part;
  • You’re asked to provide money upfront, for whatever reason, to receive the money or prize; and
  • You’re asked to confirm personal or account details via a hyperlink, icon or attachment in an email or over the phone.


Vishing is when fraudsters ask for your personal and bank account details over the phone. It’s becoming more common with the increase in mobile banking and in recent incidents they call pretending to be from the bank’s fraud department, luring you into sharing your bank account details, pin and OTP (One Time Pin). Know that the bank will never ask for your account details, password, pin or OTP over the phone.  

“As we continually work towards improving our security features for our customers, we also want to ensure our customers are empowered in identifying digital scams and remain digitally secure,” concludes Reddy.

— Carolina Reddy is Head: Fraud Risk Management