The Ombudsman for Banking Services, Reana Steyn, has released her annual report, highlighting that banking fraud continues to plague South African customers.
According to Steyn, Internet banking fraud continues to be the most prevalent complaint by South African banking customers despite the figure decreasing slightly compared to 2017.
ATM-related complaints were the next most common case to be lodged with the Ombudsman. However, this figure decreased from 18% in 2017 to 14% in 2018.
“This is encouraging and may indicate that customers are more aware and careful transacting at ATMs, or that the fraudsters are targeting other avenues,” Steyn said.
Fraud related to Internet banking, ATMs, and credit cards accounted for 48% of all complaints.
“The fraudsters and hackers seem to be working around the clock to create fake copies of bank websites and impersonate the bank staff,” explained Steyn.
“This happens despite all the warnings issued by banks and even our office. Thousands of customers are fooled by the scammers and in the process they lose millions of rands.”
37% of all complaints were related to to maladministration on the side of banks – such as failure to follow internal procedures or to conduct an affordability assessment when granting credit.
“We are constantly working with the regulators and relevant industry bodies to ensure that our dispute resolution service remains independent, fair, timeous and is of the highest standard,” said Steyn.
“We are fortunate that the entire banking industry is 100% committed to upholding our findings and that they demonstrate their commitment at the highest (CEO) level.”