A friend of mine recently tweeted that he had 4 fraudulent debit orders coming off his bank account last month. Can you believe it? Wow – you really need to check your bank statement each month!
#MoneyMonday – short to-the-point money thought every Monday to give you motivation, perspective or action for the week.
Why check your bank statement?
@your_money_blog Hey B, had 4 fraudulent debit orders for the first time. Would make a great article me thinks. Emphasised importance of reading bank statements etc.
— Twanji Kalula (@TwanjiKalula) August 2, 2018
I contacted Twanji to find out more. In this case the fraudulent amounts were only small, ranging from R80 – R135. These are obviously easy to miss if you aren’t actually checking your bank statement each month. In fact Tebogo also mentions a fraudulent transaction in an interview I had with him. You can listen to it here where we talk about making time for your money. That transaction was for R99 a month with a reference of ‘Naidoo’ on his statement.
This quite frankly is really scary stuff as it means that fraudsters are able to get enough personal information that lets them set up debit orders via banks. Thus, they potentially have your name, surname, ID number and banking details!
Some banks have introduced the DebiCheck system to combat these fraudulent debit orders, but the risk is still there and fraudsters are forever finding new ways to steal your money. So don’t be complacent!
Imagine a few small amounts being stolen from your (and others) account each month – it will quickly add up to huge amounts! And to be honest I don’t know what action you can take if you only notice it a few months later. You probably just lose out!
So there you have it. Fraudulent transactions from your bank account are real and are on the increase!
What you can do now
Get into the habit of checking your bank statements either weekly (for example every Sunday afternoon), or do it once a month when it is sent to you. Match transactions to your budget and check that all is in order.
Be vigilant with your personal information! Shred anything that shows your name, address, phone number or any account number. Also be vigilant on the phone and don’t trust anyone random caller asking for your details.
Call centre agents go to great lengths to ask you “security” questions to ensure that you are the right person they’re speaking to. Nothing prevents you asking them questions too. If you’re in doubt simply ask for their name and then call the call centre using the number on the companies website and ask for the particular agent. That way you know you really are dealing with the company that the caller said they were from.
Don’t think it will never happen to you! Be on the look out and take immediate action if you find something fishy.