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Fraud can happen to anyone, anywhere and anytime. Chances are you have received a few fraudulent emails, ambiguous phone calls, encountered fake online ads, questionable posts on social networking sites or maybe someone has come knocking at your door? 

Never underestimate the value of your personal information. Some sources may be after your information for purposes of fraud, financial gain or simply to show that it’s possible. To minimise the risk of disclosing your personal information there are a number of precautions which you can take:

Staying safe

  • Keep your information private. Never disclose any sensitive or personal information – login credentials, bank details or passwords/PINs – to any source, including persons claiming to be from your bank or service providers.  
  • Take care when using the various social media networks or platforms. These carry a high risk or potential for compromised personal information - only extend or accept invites from people (or entities) known to you or that is a trusted source and use the security settings offered by social media platforms. Also avoid listing detailed personal information such as your full name(s), birth date, home town, relationship status, work information, home/office address, school and university information etc.
  • Beware of changes to login pages and websites where required to enter a password and other personal credentials. Ensure that where you are required to provide this, the webpage you are required to log in / provide the information is secure, i.e. look for a padlock in the browser window and an address beginning with https. If unsure or suspicious, do not log in.
  • Check the veracity of claims, advertisements or communications received especially where these appear to be suspicious or out of the norm
  • Do not open emails or reply to unsolicited SMS messages from unknown sources. Do not reply to, or enter into, any communication with the sender and do not click on any links or download attachments received from these sources.
  • Always safeguard and secure documents containing confidential information, both in hardcopy and electronic formats . When disposing of these documents do so safely by shredding or destroying the documents.
  • Don’t fall for titles and /or credentials and/or impressive referrals. Keep in mind, titles, credentials and testimonials could be fabricated so treat with circumspect until verified
  • Be vigilant and know how to spot phishing attempts. These are the primary weapon used by criminal elements to trick/deceive individuals into disclosing personal information using various ruses or false claims.

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