‘Just hang up’ : Consumer group warns of phone scams

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The South African Banking Risk Information Centre has warned South Africans to be aware of vishing attacks – where fraudsters pose as bank or service providers and try to get unsuspecting victims to disclose personal information to steal their money. 

In vishing – or voice phishing attacks – scammers speak directly to victims to try and convince them they are speaking to someone from a legitimate organisation. Banks do not ask users to confirm confidential information over the phone.

As the elderly are often susceptible to being taken advantage of, the centre has requested the public to share an “awareness clip” on social media that features children talking to their parents. 

“Never give out your personal information over the phone, not even if the caller claims to be from the bank,” states the clip. “My advice to you? Just hang up”

The centre also warns against sharing a one-time PIN. This could mean that a scammer has access to your account and needs the pin to complete a fraudulent transaction. 

“If you receive an OTP on your phone without having transacted yourself, it is likely that it is a fraudster who has used your personal information,” states the centre’s website. “Do not provide the OTP telephonically to anybody. Contact your bank immediately to alert them to the possibility that your information may have been compromised.”

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