Top Digital Scams That Impacted South Africa During Lockdown

One year after Covid-19, TransUnion’s latest analysis of global online fraud found that since the pandemic began, fraudsters in SA are increasing schemes against businesses. In addition, TransUnion’s recent Global Consumer Pulse Study found that 37% of South African consumers have recently been targeted by Covid-19 related digital fraud.

The top COVID-19 related digital scams were:

·        Fake insurance

·        Unemployment

·        Third-party seller scams

·        Phishing

·        OTP vishing

·        Smishing and sim swop

Kaspersky data shows that more than two-thirds of local respondents say that either they or their loved ones have suffered from criminals via social networks since the pandemic outbreak.

Two in five consumers reported being personally aware of a Covid-19-related digital fraud attempt targeting them in the last three months, 7% having fallen victim.

The financial services sector remains a top targeted industry for cybercrime in Africa – not surprising when one considers the digital-first approach the sector takes to meet the needs and expectations of customers.

Standard Bank notes the below in terms of understanding if something could be a scam or not:

  • The offered sounds too good to be true
  • It takes you by surprise; the prize relates to a competition you never entered
  • You’re given limited time to confirm details or win, catching you off guard
  • You receive information via a free email address (like Hotmail, Aim, Yahoo or Gmail)
  • You are promised large sums of money for very little or no effort on your part
  • You’re asked to provide money upfront, for whatever reason, to receive the money or prize
  • You’re asked to confirm personal or account details via a hyperlink, icon or attachment in an email or over the phone

Standard Bank’s Security Centre page has good information on latest scams and advice for free.


Be careful out here.