Be aware of fraudsters this festive season

It’s the holiday season and for many of us that means sun, shopping and seeing friends, but there’s a more sinister side to the summer holidays – scammers become more active.

According to specialist personal loans provider, DirectAxis, South Africa is one of the most targeted countries in the world when it comes to financial crimes.

“The best way to avoid being scammed is to be constantly vigilant and to never think that it can’t happen to you,” says Rialivhuwa Mudau, head of legal, risk and compliance at DirectAxis.

“Fraudsters target everyone and over the festive period there’s often an increase in scams. This may be because criminals try to target year-end bonuses, or they believe that people relaxing on holiday may not be as alert as they are normally.”

Scams are presented in many different ways, from simple appeals for money, to sophisticated schemes where they imitate recognisable brands. There have even been cases of fraudsters posing as friends on social media. What they all have in common is trying to trick you into paying money or to part with your personal details so they can steal your identity.

Common scams include:

Upfront fees

These scams ask you to pay a fee in order to get a beneficial transaction underway. Typically, these could be an administration fee for a loan, to release the funds from a lottery win or a transfer fee for an inheritance.

Some are easier to spot than others. If you’ve not bought a lottery ticket or don’t know…

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