The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has identified cybercrime and emerging technologies as a growing threat to the South African banking sector.

In its report, the Reserve Bank said threats, including online and mobile banking platforms, could be used to facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing.

Cybercrime has become a big problem not only in South Africa, but all over the world. Phishing remains one of the most common fraud methods.

Scammers often send their targets emails that look like they’re coming from a bank.

In recent months, 1,237 cases of cybercrime and attempted online fraud were recorded, which corresponds to an average of 137 incidents per bank. There are 34 licensed deposit-taking organizations in South Africa.

In other cases, scammers try to trick people into providing sensitive information, such as one-time passwords (OTPs) and login passwords for online cookies.

But banks often urge people not to share sensitive information, such as bank card pin numbers and online banking passwords.

“Large banks are widely exposed to a high level of inherent risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. This is a result of their large number of customers, significant exposure to foreign risk, use of non-personal delivery channels that increase anonymity, very large amounts of cash and propensity for illicit flow of funds,” the report said.

The South African Banking Risk Information Center (Sabric) estimates that businesses in South Africa suffer a total of approximately R250 million each year due to phishing attacks and online fraud.

The report notes that more than 90% of the banking sector offers online banking services and mobile banking applications [the use of banking apps]except for one mutual bank.

“While online banking offers faster transactions and more convenient banking options, these features are also attractive to criminals. Online features can hide a customer’s true identity (which could be discovered by visiting branches) and these features can also hide the true purpose and beneficiaries of funds,” the SARB report said.

The Republic of South Africa is among the top ten countries in the world in terms of the number of cybercrimes.

The country ranks seventh out of the sixteen countries surveyed for the highest cost of cyber hacking.

A father and son were recently arrested in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal for a R99 debit order fraud.

In another cybercrime case, a man and woman are accused of defrauding the KwaZulu-Natal Society for the Blind and Deaf of more than 12 million rand over six years.

South African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) CEO Manny van Schalkwyk says consumers should make every effort to ensure that their data is always secure.

The video below discusses cybercrime:

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