Online banking fraud still on the rise in SA – banking ombudsman

Image: iStock

Image: iStock

The ombudsman’s report stated that 7,307 cases were closed last year – 12% more than in 2017 and an increase of 40% over the last two years.

The Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) on Thursday released its 2018 annual report highlighting that online banking fraud had been keeping the ombudsman on its toes for two years, among some interesting statistics.

The report found that 7,307 cases were closed last year – 12 percent more than in 2017 and an increase of 40 percent over the last two years.

Banking ombudsman said ATM fraud complaints dropped by four percent, from 18 percent to 14 percent.

Reana Steyn, the ombudsman for banking services, said customer complaints about significant issues in the area of internet banking fraud and ATM- and credit card-related complaints kept the office busy.

Steyn said the office opened 1,459 and closed 1,349 internet banking fraud cases for the year. She said internet banking, ATM- and credit card fraud account for 48 percent of the complaints in the office.

“Despite the fact that we were busier than ever, we managed to maintain excellent turnaround times, with an average of 41 business days to close a case, and the service standard to resolve complaints within four months was achieved in 95.3 percent of the cases,” Steyn said.

“It is evident from the numbers of complaints that our office received, that online banking related complaints continue to be the biggest pain point for customers.”

Despite the number for online banking related complaints closed by the office in 2018 was slightly less than the previous year, it was still the top category of complaints opened and closed for the second year running, making up 22 percent of all cases opened.

“This is encouraging and may indicate that customers are more aware and careful transacting at ATMs, or that the fraudsters are targeting other avenues,” Steyn said.

The demographic view showed that the bulk of the complaints were from Gauteng at 42 percent, Western Cape at 15 percent, and KwaZulu-Natal 13 percent.

“The more significant statistic is that 70 percent of the complainants are from people over the age of 40. We believe the older generation may be more prone to falling victim to bank fraud and we are targeting our awareness campaigns and consumer education to address this issue,” Steyn said.

Steyn said they were constantly working with the regulators and relevant industry bodies to ensure that their dispute resolution service remains independent, fair, timeous and was of the highest standard.

African News Agency (ANA)

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