Ricochet News

Police urge residents to be cautious when purchasing things online

Mar 7, 2018
Police urge residents to be cautious when purchasing things online

Police are urging the community to be cautious following several cases where people bought vehicles online and ended up being robbed of their cash.

"Ensure that you see what you are purchasing before you pay for it and you are satisfied," warned police spokesperson, Captain Siphokazi Mawisa.

How to protect yourself from fraud and scams:

She said that the simple tips below will help you protect yourself and your family from scams.

"Scams can cost people a lot of money and cause a great deal of distress. By following these simple tips, you can protect yourself against scams.

"Phishing and Fraud Scams are methods of deceitfully obtaining personal information such as passwords, identity numbers and credit card details by calling, sending emails or cell phone messages that look like they come from trusted sources, such as banks or legitimate companies," Captain Mawisa said.

"Typically, these emails or cell phone messages request that users click on a link in the email, which will direct users to a spoofed website – a site designed to fool users into thinking that it is legitimate – to obtain, verify or update contact details or other sensitive financial information.

"These emails and messages also contain a telephone number and contact person whom you should call, as you are promised you could win large sums of money."

What you should do to prevent falling victim to scams and fraud:

  • Never respond to emails or cell phone messages appearing to be from your bank, which request your personal details. Remember that no bank will ever ask you to confirm or update your account details by email.
  • Never provide your online ID, password or PIN to anyone and never write them down or share them.
  • Do not save your Internet banking password on your desktop.
  • Do not leave your computer unattended after you have entered your Internet banking password.
  • Always log off or sign off at the end of a session.
  • Avoid doing Internet banking in public areas such as Internet cafés, or on any computer that can be accessed by people you do not know.
  • Change your PIN and passwords frequently.
  • Put sensible transaction limits on your accounts.
  • Only provide your credit card details to reputable companies.
  • If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Members must apply precautious measures when purchasing any item online, it is advisable to conduct verification if the company is registered.

She said NEVER send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

"The SAPS is committed to creating a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa, this can only be achieved if individuals and communities cooperate with the police by volunteering information on criminals and their activities," Captain Mawisa added.

"In partnership the Police and the community can ACT, 'Against Crime Together' to prevent crime."