The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), on behalf of the banking industry, has released stats relating to banking crime for 2020, and it seems that most banking criminals went virtual.

SABRIC indicated that the restriction of movement brought by the Lockdown Restrictions, imposed by the South African Government, significantly impacted the number of crime incidents. Banking crime has increased, but the types of crimes have changed. Fraud on digital platforms increased through phishing attempts as people have become more in tune with online shopping.

SABRIC reports the following:

  • Digital banking fraud increased by 33%
  • Debit card fraud rose by 22%, while on a positive note, credit card fraud decreased by 7%
  • Contact crime decreased due to the restriction of movement and increased visible policing. Associated robberies saw a decrease of 24% in 2020 when compared to 2019 with decreases evident in the Free State, the Eastern Cape, and Mpumalanga.
  • ATM attacks decreased by 9% overall
  • ATM explosive incidents increased by 20%
  • Cash-in-transit (CIT) robberies decreased significantly due to the Level 5 lockdown in April and May of 2020, but once restrictions were lifted, these increased again by 22% as criminals were able to move with fewer restrictions and fear of roadblocks and searches.
  • Robberies and burglaries also increased by 42% and 12% respectively.

The dangers of the digital space are already known to all, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a sale that one just can’t resist. Before you enter any of your personal details into a webpage, be very sure that it is a legitimate site. There is truth in the saying, “If it seems too good to be true, it usually is!”

Atlas Security constantly reminds you to be vigilant of your surroundings at all times, but this awareness should be at its peak while at an ATM or when you’re close to any banking device. This includes your cell phone, how often are you performing banking activities from your cell phone while in public? In these moments you need to be as aware as you would be at an ATM.