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Banks issue warning: Be wary of cyber crime

| Crime and security

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has warned bank customers to pay more attention to their mobile security.

With the increase in cybercrime, the organisation has warned that customers are increasingly at risk of falling prey to criminal activities.

Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay said managing and protecting electronic devices such as cellphones, tablets and PCs is crucial in ensuring the scourge of cybercrime is minimised.

Speaking to the media and banking representatives at the organisation's offices in Midrand on Thursday, Pillay said online banking fraud was increasing due to phishing and malware attacks in the country.

“Cybercrime costs South Africa around R1 billion a year.

“South Africa is one of the top targets for cybercrime in Africa due to its comparatively high levels of internet connectivity, resulting in a larger attack surface than many other nations on the African continent,” said Pillay.

The country's wealth and particularly its high GDP per capita, compared to that of other nations in sub-Saharan Africa, made it attractive to cyber-criminals, she said.

Online banking fraud increased especially because of the high levels of phishing and malware attacks targeting bank customers.

Banks continuously provided cyber-security messages, but criminals were devising new ways to steal from customers, she said.

“As more bank consumers migrate to online banking platforms, the risk is that smartphones and hand-held devices are being compromised,” said Pillay.

Sabric was working with law enforcement agencies to ensure a holistic approach to fighting these crimes is adopted.

Meanwhile, Pillay also said Sabric had started a campaign, titled “Skelm”, to promote the notion of safety on the internet and to prevent banking fraud.

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Pretoria News

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