Beware of circulating fake messages

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GK CRONJE

8 February 2022

Unless you provide the scammer with authentication, verification or one time PIN (OTP) or banking PIN codes, the call will be futile.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September 2020.jp

Residents are hereby requested to refrain from circulating a WhatsApp message that claims that your banking application on your phone can be hacked via a phone call.

According to the message, the caller allegedly requests you to pick an option between pressing 1 and 2 on your dialer, to confirm whether or not you are vaccinated. Your banking app is then allegedly hacked after completing the dialing prompts.

This circulating chain message should be considered as fake. Based off available information, the currently circulating message had been constructed off a similar WhatsApp message that had circulated in May 2021, which had been verified as fake. The fake message from 2021 also stated that the call was for “vaccination status census”.

Verified sources state that a scammer can call you, pretending to be someone official, and so gain access to your personal details. Unless you provide the scammer with authentication, verification or one time PIN (OTP) or banking PIN codes, the call will be futile.

According to ABSA, in cases such as these, fraudster will call you, pretending to be a bank representative or other authoritative person, who requires information such as your ID number, banking details and logon credentials to your online banking profile, to solve a problem or prevent your account from being closed. Vishing is difficult to trace, especially now that fraudsters can mask their numbers, leading a victim to believe that the call is from a legitimate source, or by diverting their number to a legitimate number. Clients can protect themselves by always being vigilant and never sharing their PIN, password, passcode and transaction verification or card CVV number with anyone.

If you receive such a phonecall, immediately end the call, and report the call to your bank’s fraud helpline, and alert the SAPS. Your bank will never require you to verify your PIN, CVV or account details via a phonecall.