Bank robberies are down 24% due to Covid-19 bans – Sabric

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Contact financial crime like bank robberies decreased 24% in 2020 due to the restrictions on movement and visible policing related to Covid-19 lockdowns.

This emerges from the latest annual crime statistics report published on Wednesday by the South African Banking Risk Information Center (Sabric).

However, the report noted an increase in digital banking crime incidents as online shopping and online payment systems became popular in the wake of the pandemic.

Sabric says criminals have taken advantage of Covid-19 to enhance their efforts to scam customers, steal their personal information and defraud them on digital and online platforms.

According to the report, digital banking fraud increased 33%.

“Covid-19, coupled with the implementation of the provisions of the Civil Protection Act, had a remarkable impact on the evolution of financial crime in 2020. It sparked changes in human behavior, movement and policing, and created new opportunities for criminals who are significantly on the number of criminal cases, ”says Sabric in his statement.

“While some types of crime have decreased, others have increased as criminals exploited Covid-19,” she adds.

The report also showed an increase in debit card fraud, which is up 22%. This usually happens when a criminal gains access to a customer’s debit card number and, in some cases, their personal identification number to make unauthorized withdrawals or purchases.

ATM explosive attacks have also been increased by 20%. As the report for last year indicated, it does not include the ATMs that were damaged during the recent riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July.

Read: During the unrest in July, over 119 million ren in “hard cash” were stolen from banks and ATMs

Meanwhile, Sabric’s crime statistics report also shows a decrease in crimes such as credit card fraud (-7%) and (general) ATM attacks (-9%).

The number of money robberies fell significantly when the country was at level 5 of the lockdown in April and May 2020. However, after the restrictions were lifted, they rose again by 22% as criminals could move and seek with fewer restrictions and fear of roadblocks.

Commenting on the report and the rise in online banking crime, Sabric CEO Nischal Mewalall said: “Your personal information, combined with technology, is the new key to the safe that keeps your money in a bank. Prevent criminals from accessing it In your safe. ”

He warns that cybercrime and data breaches will pose a significant threat to customers and banks in the future, as even the best security and technology can now be compromised when criminals illegally obtain and use legitimate data to commit a crime.

In order not to fall victim to digital banking fraud, Mewalall warns bank customers not to click on links in unsolicited e-mail, as these links are used in phishing e-mails to direct people to “fake” websites that use what legitimate online retailers can look like, accompanied by enticing images and convincing keywords.

“Criminals use these fake websites to steal bank card details in order to make online purchases from your account. We still see a lot of fraudulent advertisements with seemingly incredible offers of personal protective equipment, disinfectants and counterfeit vaccines that take advantage of people’s concerns for their health and safety, ”Mewallall said.

Listen to Fifi Peters interview with the CEO of Sabric:

Palesa Mofokeng is an intern at Moneyweb.


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