Banking scams: You've heard of phishing, but what about vishing and smishing?


Digital technology has provided new ways for criminals to commit digital banking crimes, warns the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric).

New data released by Sabric shows that more than half (55%) of the gross losses due to crime reported to the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) occur online.

“Gross losses” is a term used in the banking industry to refer to the total loss to the consumer as well as the bank. It, therefore, includes instances where the bank had refunded the client.

The scam of phishing has become familiar to consumers over the years, but the versions called vishing and smishing might not yet be.

Phishing is where emails are used to request people to click on a link in the email to verify or "update" contact details or other sensitive information.

The link will direct them to a website. This website has, however, been designed to fool users into thinking it is legitimate.

The purpose is to obtain sensitive information.

Vishing is where a fraudster phones his or her victim, posing as a bank official or service provider. The fraudster manipulates the target into disclosing confidential information by leading the victim to believe that he or she is speaking to the bank or service provider.

The information obtained in this fraudulent manner is then used to defraud the victim.

Smishing is short for "SMS phishing". It is when someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via SMS.

In this way users are tricked into downloading malware onto their mobile device.

It is then used to fraudulently obtain sensitive information by sending out text messages asking users to call a number or click on a link.

Tips from Sabric to protect against phishing, vishing and smishing:

  • Check that you are on your bank's genuine website before inputting any personal information.
  • Check for a closed green padlock next to the URL of the website.
  • Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited emails.
  • Never reply to these emails. Delete them immediately.
  • Always type in the URL or domain name for your bank in the address bar.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
What potential restrictions on unvaccinated South Africans may make the biggest difference to public health, the economy?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Limited access to restaurants and bars
11% - 161 votes
Limited access to shopping centres
14% - 205 votes
Limited access to live events, including sport matches and festivals
27% - 387 votes
Workplace vaccine mandates
47% - 675 votes