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As the world grapples with the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats and financial scams, initiatives like International Fraud Awareness Week (12-18 November 2023) takes center stage in fostering awareness, education, and collaboration. This annual week has served as a crucial catalyst for individuals, businesses, and communities to unite against the growing menace of fraud.

In a digital era where our lives are intricately woven into the fabric of technology, the importance of vigilance against fraud cannot be overstated. For South African consumers, International Fraud Awareness Week becomes a crucial annual milestone, shining a spotlight on the evolving landscape of fraud and offering tools to safeguard personal and financial well-being.

Here are a few consumer tips to safeguard your finances against fraud:


1.Digital Vigilance

Regularly update passwords for online accounts, incorporating a mix of characters, numbers and special characters for enhanced security. Activate two-factor authentication whenever available.


2. Stay Informed

Keep an eye on credible sources for updates on common scams targeting South African consumers and how these scams work. Share this knowledge with family, friends and communities.


3. Verify Communication

Exercise caution with unsolicited emails, messages, or calls, especially those requesting personal or financial information. Do not disclose your PIN, account number or passwords to anyone.


4. Monitor Financial Statements

Regularly review bank statements and credit reports for any unusual or unauthorized transactions. Promptly report any discrepancies to your financial institution or relevant authorities.


5. Guard Against Phishing

Refrain from clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Verify the legitimacy of websites by checking for secure connections (https://).


6. Guard Against the Impersonation of Financial Service Providers (FSPs)

Ensure the legitimacy of any entity claiming to be a financial service provider by meticulously verifying its credentials. Countercheck independently to guarantee the authenticity of the information provided. If in doubt, report it to the FSCA.


7. Beware High-Pressure Tactics

Stay vigilant when faced with urgent demands or high-pressure tactics that require immediate action. Fraudsters often exploit time-sensitive situations to manipulate unsuspecting consumers.


8. Verify Financial Institutions & Financial advisors

Confirm the legitimacy of financial institutions by checking their registration with the FSCA. Ensure that you are dealing with authorized entities to mitigate the risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes. Ensure that financial advisors are registered with the FSCA. Authorized advisors are bound by professional standards, providing an added layer of protection for consumers.


9. Monitor Your Investments

Regularly review your investment portfolios and financial statements. Report any discrepancies or suspicious transactions to your financial service provider promptly.


10. Be Wary of High Returns with Low Risk

Exercise caution if an investment promises exceptionally high returns with minimal risk. Such offers often serve as red flags for potential scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

In embracing the lessons of International Fraud Awareness Week, South African consumers play a pivotal role in shaping a future where fraud is not just recognized but actively thwarted, making strides towards a safer and more secure digital South Africa.

Members of the public should always check that an entity or individual is registered with the FSCA to provide Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services and what category of advice it is that the entity is registered to provide. The FSCA reminds customers who wish to conduct financial services with an institution or person to check beforehand with the FSCA on either the toll-free number (0800 110 443) or on whether such institution or person is authorised to render financial services. 

Enquiries: Financial Sector Conduct Authority 

​​Email address: 

Telephone: 0800 203 722