Tag: crime

SAPS launches free app to fight crime

Published by Kirsten Jacobs for Cape Town Etc

An app for citizens to use in the fight against crime has been launched by the South African Police Service (SAPS). Called My SAPS, the app was developed by Vodacom and will be available on both Apple and Android devices.

The app is described on the App Store as a way of “enabling everyone to contribute towards building a more crime free society”.

“My SAPS is a free application available for iPhones and other smartphones, provided by the South African Police Services,” it says on the App Store. “My SAPS will allow you to submit crime tip-offs (anonymously) to the Crime Stop Centre and send updates.”

The app allows users to submit anonymous tip-offs and call crime stop.

“It also allows you easy access to all SAPS Stations information using the SAPS Station finder, as well as all SAPS Social Media platforms.”

Users can find their closest police station using the app.

Download it for Android: https://tinyurl.com/y5s8z3u9

Download it for iOS: https://tinyurl.com/y5orqtou

Ghost employees could cost you your business

The occurrence of ghost employees on a company’s payroll system ranks as the most difficult type of payroll fraud to detect, particularly in larger companies where no proper controls exist. Over time, this can pose a serious threat to the organisation’s profitability and sustainability, declares CRS Technologies general manager Ian McAlister.

“A ghost employee is a fictitious person on the company payroll who does not actually work for the organisation,” he explains. “It could be someone who left the company or passed away, or even a fictitious person with a fake ID number but valid bank account into which a salary is paid each month. The holder of the bank account is usually the perpetrator of the ghost employee fraud.

“Another example is when a real employee appears twice on the payroll. This is done by using a different ID number to create a clone of someone. The employee’s salary is then split between the two identities but only one identity receives a tax certificate, enabling the perpetrator to declare less than what he/she actually earns to the tax collecting authority.”

It goes without saying that failure to detect ghost employees can result in considerable financial loss over time. Consequently, McAlister says companies should seriously consider implementing a robust automated payroll solution that will reduce opportunities for creating ghost employees.

“The payroll solution should feature ID number verification so that if someone tries to enter a ghost employee on the system, it will immediately reject the ID number as invalid. The CRS solution, for example, incorporates ID numbers which are attached to each employee. Each number is unique and cannot be duplicated. This means that an employee cannot appear twice on the same system.”

Audit and risk management policies that facilitate the development of controls to aid in the prevention and detection of any type of payroll fraud are also extremely important, McAlister continues. He recommends carrying out audits at least once a quarter to ensure that the number of employees on the payroll actually exist and equal the number of people employed.

“Perform frequent spot audits to check that employees’ earnings, allowances and other remuneration additions are correct and in accordance with their employment contracts. Any changes to an employee’s earnings must be approved by a senior manager and not the payroll administrator. If possible, a multiple-party approval process should be followed to mitigate collusion. It is also advisable to run comparison reports between various payroll periods. Any variance of more than a predefined percentage occurs should raise a red flag.”

McAlister points out that ghost employee fraud does not have to be perpetrated by the person who controls the entire payroll system. “Mostly it is done by the individual who authorises payroll payments or controls the addition or deletion of employees from the system. Once the ghost is created, payments are generated to the ghost without the need for additional action or review by the payroll team. All the perpetrator has to do is sit back and collect the payments.

“This being said, an indication that some type of payroll fraud is being committed could be when the payroll manager or administrator always arrives early and leaves late, and never goes on holiday or takes sick leave. Being away from the office will force them to give their work over to someone else, who may discover their crime.”

For businesses that cannot afford the luxury of an internal audit department, McAlister recommends entrusting their payroll to a third-party professional. “CRS’s outsourced payroll services includes multiple levels of accountability where different people manage different payroll duties. Fraudulent activity is further prevented by rigorous internal controls.”

“Payroll is often a business’s biggest expense. Organisations need to understand the potential devastation ghost employees and other types of payroll fraud can cause and take the necessary steps to safeguard against it,” McAlister concludes.

The Shoprite Group is fighting crime by investing heavily in sophisticated security and other measures to make its shopping space secure, reduce the number of criminal incidents and increase the number of arrests.

This is in the wake of the retail industry experiencing significant crime incidents in which the Shoprite Group had to contend with 489 armed robberies and burglaries in its 2018 financial year.

Its investments in crime prevention, including a centralised Command Centre and anti-crime team, gives the Group the ability to monitor stores and vehicles, remotely trigger security devices, follow up on crime incidents and ensure suspects are arrested.

Through an extensive intelligence network, the Command Centre receives live information on strikes, protests and other incidents. This information can be used to react and take necessary measures to safeguard the Group’s fleet on the road as well as staff and customers in its stores.

Shoprite’s efforts to keep its customers and staff safe are reflected in a reduction of contact (violent) crime incidents and increased prosecutions. “It is a work in progress,” says Group Loss Prevention Manager, Oswald Meiring. “Incidents of violent crime and robberies are coming down, and we will continue to do everything we can to make us a harder target.”

Arrests have increased by 200% as a result of the Group increasing its capability to identify, trace and arrest suspects. Recently the Group was also able to assist with the arrest of two suspects after the manager of its Worcester branch was shot and killed in a robbery. A third suspect has been identified and arrest is imminent.

“We continue to focus on creating a safer environment for customers and staff. That is our first priority and we will go to any length to prosecute whoever is committing these crimes.”

The Group works closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to affect the necessary arrests. It shares intelligence with them to ensure that bail is successfully opposed and that prosecution of criminals is successful.

In addition to tracking devices, the Group installed cameras and electronic locks on trucks which are managed from the Command Centre. Trucks can be remotely opened and closed, with alarms triggered if trucks are stationery for a certain length of time, or if unusual driving behaviour is detected. Since these devices were installed, there have been no incidents in transit on these vehicles.

It has also employed an in-house investigation team made up of experienced investigators. It has a team of Data and Crime Analysts who utilise predictive and historical analysis of all the crime data, to identify which stores or areas should be focused on. The Group has also employed an expert criminal lawyer to assist with the successful prosecution of criminals.

Watch out for these common banking crimes

SABRIC, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre, on behalf of the banking industry has released its annual crime stats for 2018.

“We are concerned about some of the increases, which clearly reflect that criminals will take every opportunity to get their hands on bank customers’ money,” says SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay.

Combined gross card fraud losses on South African issued cards saw an 18% increase from 2017 to 2018, totalling R873 394 351, with credit card fraud increasing by 18.4% and debit card fraud increasing by 17.5%.

Card Not Present (CNP) fraud on South African issued credit cards remained the leading contributor to gross fraud losses in the country, accounting for 79.5% of all losses. CNP debit card fraud showed the greatest increase in losses at 62.3%, due to the enablement of Card Not Present transactions on debit cards.

“We have seen a sharp increase in Vishing incidents, where criminals phone bank customers, lead them to believe that they are speaking to the bank or a legitimate service provider and use social engineering tactics to manipulate them into disclosing their confidential bank card details, as well as other personal information. “A bank will never call you to ask for this information. If you receive such a call, put the phone down immediately,” says Pillay.

In 2018, Lost and/or Stolen debit card fraud amounted to 42.5% of all debit card fraud and bank customers continue to fall victim to fraud at ATM’s while transacting. Criminals approach victims under the pretext of being helpful, and in many instances even pose as a bank official. They then steal the victim’s banks card and shoulder surf to obtain the PIN. SABRIC therefore urges bank clients to never accept assistance from anyone at an ATM, no matter how friendly or helpful they may appear.

In 2018, 23 466 incidents across banking apps, online banking and mobile banking amounted to R262 826 888 in gross losses. It is concerning that incidents across these platforms increased by 75,3%. Mobile banking incidents showed an increase of 100%, with gross losses of R28 941 040, while online banking incidents showed an increase of 37.5% with gross losses of R129 002 523. Banking app incidents increased by 55.4%, with gross losses of R104 883 325 for the same period. SIM swops in the Mobile Banking space saw an increase of over 200% to 11077 incidents.

Criminals are very adept at understanding psychology and will use social engineering tactics to exploit any human vulnerability to harvest confidential information like a PIN or a password in order to steal cash. When it comes to online banking, beware of Phishing emails that request that you click on a link. The link directs you to a “spoofed” website designed to obtain, verify or update contact details or other sensitive financial information. “Never click on links in unsolicited emails!” says Pillay.

We are pleased that Cash in transit (CIT) robberies decreased by 22% from 376 to 292 incidents from 2017 to 2018. Cash losses here also showed a decrease of 22% for the same period. SABRIC will continue to work closely with law enforcement and other partners to address the scourge and ensure further declines.

“To have any significant impact on the fight against all of these crimes, the collective efforts of banks, bank customers and law enforcement are imperative,” says Pillay.

SABRIC urges you to be your money’s best protection by following these tips:

Tips when using ATMs

· If you think the ATM is faulty cancel the transaction IMMEDIATELY, report the fault to your Bank and transact at another ATM.

· Avoid ATMs that are dimly lit or surrounded by loiterers, and never allow your children to draw money using your card, since they’re the most vulnerable to perpetrators.

· Have your card ready in your hand before you approach the ATM to avoid opening your purse, bag or wallet while in the queue.

· Be cautious of strangers offering to help as they could be trying to distract you to get your card or PIN.

· Follow the instructions on the ATM screen carefully.

· ONLY punch in your PIN once prompted by the ATM.

· Report suspicious items or people around ATMs to the Bank.

· Choose familiar and well-lit ATMs where you are visible and safe.

· Report any concerns regarding the ATM to the Bank. Toll free numbers are displayed on all ATMs.

· Be alert to your surroundings. Do not use the ATM if there are loiterers or suspicious people in the vicinity. Also take note that fraudsters are often well dressed, well-spoken and respectable looking individuals.

· If you are disturbed or interfered with, whilst transacting at the ATM, your card may be skimmed, by being removed and replaced back into the ATM without your knowledge. Cancel the transaction immediately and report the incident using your Bank’s Stop Card Toll free number which is displayed on all ATMs, as well as on the back of your Bank card.

· Should you have been disturbed whilst transacting, immediately change your PIN or stop the card, to protect yourself from any illegal transactions occurring on your account.

· Know what your ATM looks like so that you can identify any foreign objects attached to it.

· Do not ask anyone to assist you at the ATM, not even the security guarding the ATM or a Bank official. Rather go inside the Bank for help.

· Never force your card into the slot as it might have been tampered with.

· Do not insert your card if the screen layout is not familiar to you and looks like the machine has been tampered with.

· Don’t use ATMs where the card slot, keypad or screen has been tampered with. It could be an attempt to get hold of your card.

· Your PIN is your personal key to secure banking and it is crucial to keep it confidential.

· Memorise your PIN, never write it down or share it with anyone, not even with your family member or a Bank official.

· Choose a PIN that will not be easily guessed. Do not use your date of birth as a PIN.

· Cover your PIN when punching the numbers even when alone at the ATM as some criminals may place secret cameras to observe your PIN.

· Don’t let anyone stand too close to you to keep both your card and PIN safe.

· Some fraudsters wait until you’ve drawn your cash to take advantage. Be wary of people loitering around the ATM and ensure that you are not followed.

· Take your time to complete your transaction and secure your card and your cash in your wallet, handbag or pocket before leaving the ATM.

· Set a daily withdrawal limit that suits your needs (the default amount is set at R1000.00), to protect yourself in an event that your card and PIN are compromised.

· Check your balance regularly and report discrepancies to your Bank IMMEDIATELY.

· Avoid withdrawing cash to pay for goods/services as your Debit Card can be used for these transactions. You can use your Debit Card wherever the Maestro/Visa Electron logo is displayed.

After you have completed your transaction successfully, leave the ATM area immediately. Be cautious of strangers requesting you to return to the ATM to finalise/close the transaction because they are unable to transact. Skimming may occur during this request.
Prioritise the setting of daily withdrawal and transaction limits.
Set a daily ATM withdrawal limit that suits your needs.
Transaction limits should also be in line with daily spending.
Set limits on international transaction expenditure.
Inter account transfer limits should also be managed wisely.

Tips to prevent phishing and vishing

Phishing:

· Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited e-mails.

· Do not reply to these e-mails. Delete them immediately.

· Do not believe the content of unsolicited e-mails blindly. If you are worried about what is alleged, use your own contact details to contact the sender to confirm.

· Type in the URL (uniform resource locator or domain names) for your bank in the internet browser if you need to access your bank’s webpage.

· Check that you are on the real site before using any personal information.

· If you think that you might have been compromised, contact your bank immediately.

· Create complicated passwords that are not easy to decipher and change them often.

Vishing:

· Banks will never ask you to confirm your confidential information over the phone.

· If you receive a phone call requesting confidential or personal information, do not respond and end the call.

· If you receive an OTP on your phone without having transacted yourself, it was likely prompted by a fraudster using your personal information. Do not provide the OTP telephonically to anybody. Contact your bank immediately to alert them to the possibility that your information may have been compromised.

· If you lose mobile connectivity under circumstances where you are usually connected, check whether you may have been the victim of a SIM swop.

Tips for carrying cash safely

Tips for Individuals

· Carry as little cash as possible.

· Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically (consult your bank to find out about other available options).

· Consider making use of cell phone banking or internet transfers or ATMs to do your banking.

· Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.

Tips for Businesses

· Vary the days and times on which you deposit cash.

· Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.

· Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing in the bank queue.

· Avoid carrying moneybags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book.

· It is advisable to identify another branch nearby you that you can visit to ensure that your banking pattern is not easily recognisable or detected.

· If the amount of cash you are regularly depositing is increasing as your business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company.

· Refrain from giving wages to your contract or casual labourers in full view of the public; rather make use of wage accounts that can be provided by your bank.

· Consider arranging for electronic transfers of wages to contract or casual labourers’ personal bank accounts.

Tips for Stokvel Groupings

· Refrain from making cash deposits of club members’ contributions on high-risk days (e.g. Monday after month end).

· Ensure persons depositing club cash contributions or making withdrawals are accompanied by another club member.

· A stokvel savings club or burial society can arrange for members to deposit cash directly into the club’s account instead of collecting cash contributions.

· Arrange for the club’s pay out to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal account or accounts of their choice.

· Take another person with when going to deposit club cash contributions

Tips for protecting your personal information

· Don’t use the same username and password for access to banking and social media platforms.

· Avoid sharing or having joint social media accounts.

· Be cautious about what you share on social media.

· Activate your security settings which restrict access to your personal information.

· Don’t carry unnecessary personal information in your wallet or purse.

· Don’t disclose personal information such as passwords and PINs when asked to do so by anyone via telephone, fax or even email.

· Don’t write down PINs and passwords and avoid obvious choices like birth dates and first names.

· Don’t use any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) as a password, user ID or personal identification number (PIN).

· Don’t use Internet Cafes or unsecure terminals (hotels, conference centers etc.) to do your banking.

· Use strong passwords for all your accounts.

· Change your password regularly and never share them with anyone else.

· Store personal and financial documentation safely. Always lock it away.

· Keep PIN numbers and passwords confidential.

· Verify all requests for personal information and only provide it when there is a legitimate reason to do so.

· To prevent your ID being used to commit fraud if it is ever lost or stolen, alert the SA Fraud Prevention Service immediately on 0860 101 248 or at www.safps.org.za.

· Ensure that you have a robust firewall and install antivirus software to prevent a computer virus sending out personal information from your computer.

· When destroying personal information, either shred or burn it (do not tear or put it in a garbage or recycling bag).

· Should your ID or driver’s license be stolen report it to SAPS immediately.

Tips for protecting yourself against SIM Swops

· If reception on your cell phone is lost, immediately check what the problem could be, as you could have been a victim of an illegal SIM swop on your number. If confirmed, notify your bank immediately.

· Inform your Bank should your cell phone number changes so that your cell phone notification contact number is updated on its systems.

· Register for your Bank’s cell phone notification service and receive electronic messages relating to activities or transactions on your accounts as and when they occur.

· Regularly verify whether the details received from cell phone notifications are correct and according to the recent activity on your account. Should any detail appear suspicious immediately contact your Bank and report all log-on notification that are unknown to you.

· Memorise your PIN and passwords, never write them down or share them, not even with a bank official.

· Make sure your PIN and passwords cannot be seen when you enter them.

· If you think your PIN and/or password has been compromised, change it immediately either online or at your nearest branch.

· Choose an unusual PIN and password that are hard to guess and change them often.

By Cheryl Kahla for The South African

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a UK cyber security watchdog, recently released their list of the most-used passwords on the Internet.

A quick look at the most common passwords is enough to know that a lot of work still needs to be done to educate computer users about cybersecurity.

The most common password was ‘123456’ which was beat out by ‘123456789’, ‘qwerty’, ‘password’ and ‘1111111’.

While these common passwords are incredibly problematic, the most pervasive problem for home internet users was a combination of these easily guessed passwords, and the fact they were being re-used across multiple sites.

Re-using passwords on multiple platforms
Password re-use is problematic as a security breach on one site could compromise a users security on every other site the password is in use.

NCSC technical director Ian Levy explains:

“We understand that cybersecurity can feel daunting to a lot of people, but the National Cyber Security Centre has published lots of easily applicable advice to make you much less vulnerable.

He added that re-using a password is a major risk which can be avoided because “nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed”.

Favourite celebrities
Sports teams and first names are another common choices for passwords with ‘Ashley’ the most common name used as a password and ‘Liverpool’ the most common premier league football team name used as a password. ‘Blink182’ was the most common band.

“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step, and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password,” added Levy.

There are several password management tools available that can generate unique passwords and store them in a central place for users who want to take their online security to the next level.

You could be jailed for lying on your CV

By Tom Head for The South African

The National Qualifications Amendment Bill is not here to play, ladies and gentlemen. The adjustment to the existing legislation comes with some pretty stern updates, which aims to clamp-down on dishonesty from applicants who embellish the truth on a CV.

The South African Qualifications Association (SAQA) will be charged with monitoring the registered qualifications of each citizen in South Africa. That’s quite the task for such a modest regulatory body, but the ANC has voted the move through in Parliament.

What is the National Qualifications Amendment Bill?

Cyril Ramaphosa now has the final say on what happens next – it’ll be his decision on whether the government should plough ahead with the proposals should they remain in power after Wednesday 8 May.

The bill isn’t likely to impact working-to-middle class workers too much, but it will serve as a deterrent to citizens applying for high-profile jobs. Executives, CEOs and even our politicians will be subject to rigorous background checks. If they are found to be lying about their educational history, stiff penalties await:

“Any person convicted of an offence in terms of this act is liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a term of no longer than five years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.”

“Any person, educational institution, board member or director may be ordered to close its business and be declared unfit to register a new business for a period not exceeding 10 years.”

Lying on your CV could soon be a serious legal issue

The punishment is not retroactive – so if your name is Jacob Zuma or Hlaudi Motsoeneng, you can breathe a sigh of relief. But if Ramaphosa decides to give this the green light, you may well have told your last porkie on a resume.

As IOL report, 97 national qualifications and 95 foreign qualifications were misrepresented between last October and November. That increased the total number of fraudulent applications up to 1 564 over the past 10 years.

The bill also aims to publish a “name and shame” list for those who try and push their luck just a little too far. So, if your CV is looking a little bare at the moment, try and think outside of the box – and not outside of reality.

 

By Lisa Du and Ayaka Maki for Bloomberg/Fin24

It’s watching, and knows a crime is about to take place before it happens.

Vaak, a Japanese startup, has developed artificial intelligence software that hunts for potential shoplifters, using footage from security cameras for fidgeting, restlessness and other potentially suspicious body language.

While AI is usually envisioned as a smart personal assistant or self-driving car, it turns out the technology is pretty good at spotting nefarious behaviour. Like a scene out of the movie “Minority Report,” algorithms analyse security-camera footage and alert staff about potential thieves via a smartphone app.

The goal is prevention; if the target is approached and asked if they need help, there’s a good chance the theft never happens.

Vaak made headlines last year when it helped to nab a shoplifter at a convenience store in Yokohama. Vaak had set up its software in the shop as a test case, which picked up on previously undetected shoplifting activity. The perpetrator was arrested a few days later.

“I thought then, ‘Ah, at last!’” said Vaak founder Ryo Tanaka, 30. “We took an important step closer to a society where crime can be prevented with AI.”

Shoplifting cost the global retail industry about $34bn in lost sales in 2017 – the biggest source of shrinkage, according to a report from Tyco Retail Solutions. While that amounts to approximately 2% of revenue, it can make a huge difference in an industry known for razor-thin margins.

The opportunity is huge. Retailers are projected to invest $200bn in new technology this year, according to Gartner, as they become more open to embracing technology to meet consumer needs, as well as improve bottom lines.

“If we go into many retailers whether in the US or UK, there are very often going to be CCTV cameras or some form of cameras within the store operation,” said Thomas O’Connor, a retail analyst at Gartner. “That’s being leveraged by linking it to an analytics tool, which can then do the actual analysis in a more efficient and effective way.”

Because it involves security, retailers have asked AI-software suppliers such as Vaak and London-based Third Eye not to disclose their use of the anti-shoplifting systems. It’s safe to assume, however, that several big-name store chains in Japan have deployed the technology in some form or another.

READ: Amazon facial AI matched politicians with criminals in test
Vaak has met with or been approached by the biggest publicly traded convenience-store and drugstore chains in Japan, according to Tanaka.

Big retailers have already been adopting AI technology to help them do business. Apart from inventory management, delivery optimisation and other enterprise needs, AI algorithms run customer-support chatbots on websites. Image and video analysis is also being deployed, such as Amazon.com’s Echo Look, which gives users fashion advice.

“We’re still just discovering all the market potential,” Tanaka said. “We want to keep expanding the scope of the company.”

Founded in 2017, Vaak is currently testing in a few dozen stores in the Tokyo area. The company began selling a market-ready version of its shoplifting-detection software this month, and is aiming to be in 100 000 stores across Japan in three years. It has ¥50m ($450 000) in funding from SoftBank Group’s AI fund, and is in the middle of its series A round, seeking to raise ¥1bn.

What makes AI-based shoplifting detection a straightforward proposition is the fact that most of the hardware – security cameras – is usually already in place.

READ: Microsoft seeks to restrict abuse of its facial recognition AI
“Essentially this is using something that’s been underutilised for decades,” said Vera Merkatz, business development manager at Third Eye. Founded in 2016, the startup offers services similar to Vaak in the UK market, where it has a deal with a major grocery chain. Third Eye is looking to expand into Europe.

The ability to detect and analyse unusual human behaviour also has other applications. Vaak is developing a video-based self-checkout system, and wants to use the videos to collect information on how consumers interact with items in the store to help shops display products more effectively.

Beyond retail, Tanaka envisions using the video software in public spaces and train platforms to detect suspicious behavior or suicide jumpers. At Third Eye, Merkatz said she’s been approached by security management companies looking to leverage their AI technology.

“The potential is broad since it can be applied outside of shoplifting prevention and outside of retail — such as with manufacturing or other types of marketing,” said Hiroaki Ando, a retail consultant at Ernst & Young Advisory & Consulting in Tokyo.

By Raymond Brown for Cambridge News

A secretary sold £48 000 of office supplies bought on a company credit card on eBay and told police she “got a buzz from treating her family and friends to nice things they could not afford”.

Jessica Prince, 35, of North Brink, Wisbech, was suspected of fraud after her employer’s accountant received an invoice from an unregistered supplier.

Prince had been selling ink cartridges and other office supplies purchased on her company credit card for a profit using her personal eBay account.

She has been jailed for 20 months.

How Prince’s scheme worked
Her scheme was discovered after it was found that the company had spent more than £48,000 on ink cartridges and other office equipment in the space of seven months, with invoices being doctored to conceal what was actually being ordered.

Prince had been employed as the company director’s personal secretary and was responsible for the smooth running and administration of the company office, including ordering stationery, office furniture, booking taxis, flights and hotels.

An internal investigation revealed Prince had been abusing her position to make large purchases but hiding it from the company director and accountant.

Prince was arrested on July 26 last year and in interview admitted having used her company’s credit card to purchase items and then sell them on for profit.

Officers were told it started off as a mistake after she accidentally purchased the wrong printer toner and was told it was non-refundable. She claimed she was told to sell it through eBay and give the money back to her company. She used her own personal eBay account to sell the toner but kept the money.

This was the first of many instances, placing bigger orders worth thousands of pounds on the company credit card, selling them on for a profit using her personal eBay account.

Prince told officers she “got a buzz from treating her family and friends to nice things they could not afford” but “felt like scum at work because she knew she was committing fraud”.

By Shanice Naidoo for IOL

A Bloubergstrand man had his Absa business account swindled out of R3.1 million while he was in Miami for two months.
Feruccio Ferucci left Cape Town in October without suspecting that his banking information had been stolen.

Around the end of October, his Vodacom SIM card stopped working as well as his internet banking. Growing suspicious, he contacted his daughter in Cape Town to find out from Vodacom what had happened. They informed her that a SIM swap had been done.

“I did not authorise the SIM swap. My phone stopped working for about three weeks and then started working again.

“I haven’t heard anything from Vodacom telling me what happened because my phone just started working again three weeks later,” said Ferucci.

When he returned on December 2, he was shocked to find out from his staff about transactions which were not approved by them at his business in Paarl or by himself. These were fraudulent transactions which had gone off the business account during two of the weeks which his phone had not been working equating to R3.1m.

“These transactions were around R300 000 each and there were about ten transactions. I then contacted my attorney and he referred me another attorney who specialises in this type of crime. I then wrote a protest letter to Absa threatening to close my account with them and my money was refunded around December 23,” said Ferucci.

On speaking to the new attorney, he was told that this was often done to people who are overseas because perpetrators assume one would not check their phone regularly.

“The attorney told me that 90% of the cases he deals with involved people who went overseas. There is no doubt in my mind that what happened to me was promoted by employees of both Vodacom and Absa.

“They probably didn’t steal the money but they probably sell the information,” said Ferucci.

Both Absa and Vodacom have said they are investigating the matter.

IRS Forensic Investigations, which investigates financial, organised and cyber crimes director Chad Thomas said sim swaps are a major issue, with some victims reporting that they have become victims of crime while their phones have been off while they have been travelling long distances.

However, the breach of personal data, including credit card numbers is not just confined to individual hacks via trojans or malware but is also as a result of highly sophisticated cyber attacks on data stored by corporates.

“People need to take cognisance of the fact that a sufficiently determined and capable hacker can take over someone’s online footprint if the correct measures are not taken to protect their information. However, it is not just the individual that needs to take precautions, but also corporates that are storing client’s information and have a responsibility to safeguard that information,” said Thomas.

Source: IT News Africa

As South Africa’s business sector continues to expand across a myriad of digital platforms, cybercrime continues to threaten this burgeoning digital sphere. “There are many victims of cybercrime, with limited recourse available in terms of current South African law. The need for tighter and more effective legislation is pressing,” says Grant Christianson, e4’s Group Legal Advisor.

The end of October 2018 hopefully saw the legislative cycle for the Cybercrimes Bill nearing completion, as the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development tabled an updated version. Christianson says that the existing laws have become problematic in adequately combatting cybercrime and the new Bill is needed to effectively “fill-the-gaps” that exist in current legislation and the common law.

“According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), South Africa’s annual loss is estimated at R2,2 billion, making it a significant threat to an already volatile economy.”

While the Bill does no longer address cybersecurity, he says that it will provide a framework for combatting cybercrime. Initially drafted in 2015, it addresses criminal activity that is computer-based and is related to unlawful access to, interference with or distribution of data, electronic communications, information systems and networks. He says the Bill also creates new offences for hacking; phishing, cyber bullying, unlawful interception and distribution of data, ransomware, cyber forgery and extortion, as well as acts involving malware and identity theft. Anyone convicted is likely to be fined and/or imprisoned up to 15 years.

The Bill is also expected to align with international best practice: “There will be a requirement to co-operate with other countries to effectively deal with multi-jurisdictional cybercrime activity, as often the cyber offence is created in one jurisdiction and felt in another,” says Christianson.

As a country, with the third highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide, South Africa is a target. Christianson says that mobile technology will further impact users as the country’s growing reliance on the app economy and other mobile trends will drive cyber criminals to penetrate mobile networks: “As devices become more connected and smarter, users are more exposed and so the threat grows. Digitisation is a trend that has no end in sight and while it brings with it innovation and exciting changes, cybercrime continues to grow in parallel.”

While the timeframe for the Bill’s signature is uncertain, Christianson says that it is at least in its final stages and once signed into law, the law-enforcement industry can become more proactive in its pursuit of cybercriminals.

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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