Debit Order Fraudsters. When was the last time you had a good, decent look at your monthly bank statement?
Ever noticed unlawful debit orders amounting to figures that you are not familiar with? Beware – you might have fallen victim to debit order fraud, which is currently on high increase throughout South Africa! According to the website, www.fin24. co.za, an alarming figure of nearly one million debit orders are disputed monthly as fraudsters increasingly gain access to the bank accounts of unsuspecting customers.
You might not notice a debit order deduction of R99-00 per month as some banks will only notify you via sms for transactions over and above R100-00. So, if you, for instance, had R99-00 debited from your bank account over the last 12 months, you have been robbed of R1 188- 00 in actual fact!
And what if you multiply this figure with only 10 people not noticing a R99- 00 debit order? Now imagine, how many people ignore an unauthorised debit order – the figures are astonishing! Banks have also come under severe criticism for failing to protect the money of their account holders with some victims going as far as accusing the banks of negligence because they benefit from unauthorized debit orders through the fees that they charge on reversal transactions.
Fred Steffers, the M.D. of a payments company named SmartCollect, stated the following: “Many consumers became lax about checking bank statements during the holiday seasons and fraudsters know that and take advantage of this behaviour”. He also added that there is no excuse for not checking your bank statement thoroughly, when on holiday or not.
Bear in mind that fraud syndicates can easily get hold of your personal information. Your ID number, personal banking details, the list can go on and on as debit orders normally run on a tape which can easily be hacked. They might even initiate a larger debit order such as R1 000-00. Mr Steffers also mentioned that his company, SmartCollect, and other debit order processing companies inform each other with the exchange of information on fraudsters in order to prevent a syndicate from hopping from one company to another.
It seems that more often than not, it is the same individuals who keep popping up under different identities. They seem to have found a way to evade the law and very few of them have been prosecuted over the years. It all boils down to the fact that we, as consumers, need to take time to go through our bank statements on a monthly basis.
Make sure that you dispute unauthorised debit orders on your bank account and follow it up. Failure to do so, might get you scammed out of quite a substantial amount of money – all this without you even noticing it!