Outwitting scammers: 'If in doubt, opt out'

You think you know all the scams by now - you've come into an inheritance overseas, you've won millions in a lucky draw from your service provider, just provide all your vital information and you're instantly rich!

But the scammers always seem to be one step ahead as they dream up new schemes.

Read: Warning issued over new Absa logo scam

On Weekend Breakfast, Phemelo Motene speaks to certified financial planner Paul Roelofse about how to ensure that you don't fall victim one day.

Roelofse describes the never-ending wave of scams as a veritable tsunami and says he, himself, was targeted during the last week.

Clients received an authentic-looking email requesting their banking details in connection with a payout from the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

Roelofse acknowledges that it's difficult to trace the origin, given that in the age of the internet the originator of a scam could be anywhere in the world.

When I tried to investigate it myself it was difficult, a needle in a haystack exercise. You can't pinpoint it.

Paul Roelofse, Certified financial planner

So what can we do? Roelofse says the key is vigilance

If something unusual or out of kilter arrives on my desk, surely I've got to be a lot more suspicious about it.

Paul Roelofse, Certified financial planner

Roelofse says it boils down to building relationships so that you can call your bank or your service provider to check the authenticity of a suspect message.

Also, we should be aware by now of warnings from various institutions that they would not ask for information like your banking details on the phone or by email.

He points out that scammers always look for vital information like banking details, passwords and ID numbers.

It's really to stand up and become a lot more aware

Paul Roelofse, Certified financial planner

It's almost as if someone's knocked on your front door and you've never seen that person before and they say, 'please could I have your ID number'. Your first reaction is going to be, well who are you, why do you want it?

Paul Roelofse, Certified financial planner

He also says it's advisable to question callers who phone ostensibly to update or verify your information - switch it around and ask the caller what your ID or banking details are, saying you will then give a yes or no answer.

And if you see you're being scammed, report it

The point is you've got to report it to someone and they've also got certain processes they'd like to start tightening up to try and avoid these kinds of scams carrying on.

Paul Roelofse, Certified financial planner

It's a kind of game that we've got to put pressure back onto them - don't just accept it and leave it.

Paul Roelofse, Certified financial planner

For more tips from Roelofse, listen to the interview below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Outwitting scammers: 'If in doubt, opt out'


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