Easy Ways to Spot Scams and Prevent Fraud

Become Fraud and Scam Smart

In today's digital age, financial fraud is on the rise, with scammers exploiting various channels such as emails, phone calls, SMS’s, and instant messages to target unsuspecting individuals. To safeguard yourself from falling victim to scams, we've compiled easy-to-follow tips to help you stay vigilant and secure.


Verify Emails, Calls and SMS

Fraudsters often attempt to contact individuals directly, offering fraudulent products or services via email, phone calls, or text messages. If you receive unsolicited communications from any company, it's crucial to verify their contact details and confirm their legitimacy. Be wary of anyone claiming to represent a company through WhatsApp, as legitimate businesses typically do not use this platform for official communication. Use mobile apps like Truecaller and Showcaller to identify fraudulent contact numbers, and when in doubt, contact the company's official customer service centre for verification.


Check the Terms and Services Offered

Before engaging with any offer or service, ensure that it aligns with the terms and services provided by the legitimate entity. For example, at Wonga, we offer loans of up to R4000 for new customers and up to R8000 for existing customers, with repayment periods of up 6 months. Any offer deviating from these terms may indicate fraudulent activity.


Ensure Your Browser is Secure

Protect yourself from online threats by ensuring your browser and internet connection are secure. Avoid accessing sensitive information, such as online banking, over public Wi-Fi networks or unsecured connections. Look for the green padlock icon in the URL bar to verify a secure connection, and beware of phishing scams that attempt to steal your personal information.

Find out more here: How to tell if a website is secure - xneelo Help Centre


Avoid Upfront Payments for Trial Services

Exercise caution when encountering services or applications that require upfront payments for trial access. Legitimate free trials should not request credit card information or upfront fees. At Wonga, we do not charge application fees or require upfront deposits for loan processing. Report any requests for upfront payments to our customer care team immediately!


Sign Up for Scam Alerts

Stay informed about the latest scams by subscribing to free scam alert services like scambuster. These services provide regular updates on fraudulent activities, helping you identify and avoid potential threats. Additionally, configure your email filters to automatically detect and delete suspicious emails before they reach your inbox. 



Keep Your Software Updated

Regularly update your operating system, antivirus software, and other applications to ensure they are equipped with the latest security patches. Outdated software can leave vulnerabilities that scammers may exploit to gain access to your personal information.


Monitor Your Accounts Regularly

Frequently review your bank statements, credit card transactions, and online accounts for any unauthorised or suspicious activity. Report any discrepancies to your financial institution immediately to prevent further fraud.

Learn more about the best finance apps: Financial apps to make your life easier (wonga.co.za)


Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Create strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts, and avoid using easily guessable information such as birthdays or common phrases. Consider using a reputable password manager to securely store and manage your passwords.

Learn more with these: Best Password Managers


Be Skeptical of Unsolicited Requests for Personal Information

Exercise caution when providing personal information online, especially in response to unsolicited requests. Legitimate organisations typically do not request sensitive information such as passwords or Social Security numbers via sms, email or phone.


Educate Yourself About Common Scams

Be aware of common scam tactics such as phishing, lottery scams, and identity theft. Familiarise yourself with the warning signs of these scams, and educate your friends and family to keep them from becoming victims as well. The most commonly reported scams in South Africa right now are 419 scams, investment scams and sim swapping.


 A SIM swap can have serious consequences. The fraudster can gain access to everything from bank accounts to investment apps and personal cloud data, anything that uses two-factor authentication for security.  This can result in unauthorised access to sensitive data, financial loss, and even identity theft. Of course, you will lose access to your mobile service, making it difficult to make phone calls or send emails to address these issues. Always remain vigilant and keep a close eye on your mobile devices in public spaces.


Trust Your Instincts

If something seems too good to be true or raises suspicion, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. Take the time to research and verify any unfamiliar offers or requests before providing any personal or financial information.


Secure Your Cellphone

With cell phones being the most commonly used device for online activities, make sure your mobile devices are protected with strong passwords or biometric authentication. Install security software and enable remote tracking and wiping features to protect your device and its data in the event that it is lost or stolen.


By adopting proactive measures such as creating robust & distinct passwords, exercising caution with unsolicited requests, educating oneself about prevalent scams, trusting intuition, and fortifying mobile device security, you empower yourself to confidently navigate the digital realm with resilience. Stay vigilant, well-informed, and proactive, prioritising the safeguarding of your online security and privacy in your daily endeavours. Together, let's cultivate a safer online landscape for ourselves and future generations.


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