Use these safety tips to help you keep your money safe and be ready to act should you suspect any fraudulent activities.
Absa does call customers from time-to-time. If you receive a call supposedly from Absa trying to assist you in preventing a ‘crisis’, requesting your “keys to the safe” it should immediately raise suspicion. Put down the phone and immediately report this to the bank on 0860 557 557.
What you need to do to stay secure
With the convenience of cellphone banking comes the responsibility of ensuring the security of your account.
- Don’t store your password or pin in clear text on your mobile device.
- Install antivirus software on your mobile device and scan your device regularly.
- Be wary that a 'jailbroken' device will weaken the security of your mobile device. The Absa App will not work on a jailbroken device.
- Enable the lock screen on your phone. A password or pin is always more secure than other lock-screen options.
- Turn off your wifi or data connections, when not in use.
- Use the latest software version.
- Be as vigilant on your smartphone or tablet as you would be on your computer.
- Don’t leave your tablet or mobile device unattended while you have your banking profile open.
- If your tablet or cellphone is stolen, remember to unlink it from your device access (this can be done on Absa Online under your profile).
- Be careful when using public wifi or hotspots to do your banking.
- Always remember to log out once you have finished banking
Make sure you bank safely on your mobile device
We all use apps on the go — and with our app, it just became so much easier to get your banking done in those 'in-between' moments. Keep these handy safety tips in mind when using an app:
- Read through the terms of the app and make sure that you understand the risks.
- Check what permissions the app is requesting.
- Download only apps from the authentic Apple App, Google Play, Windows App or Blackberry World stores.
- If you doubt the legitimacy of the banking app, contact our call centre on 08600 08600.
- Don’t have the app yet? Find out more about the app
We will not ask you to confirm the following telephonically:
- Credit card expiry date
- 3-digit number on the back of the card
- Secure code/OTP number
- Your PIN (you will only be required to use your PIN or OTP number when transacting)
When we contact you, we will have your card number and you will only need to confirm a few digits.
If you receive a secure code/OTP and you are not transacting, please contact our client fraud hotline on 0860 557 557 or +2711 501 5089.
Tips to avoid cheque fraud
Be especially vigilant when it comes to suspicious cheque deposits into your account, and take note of the following:
- Report lost, stolen or missing cheques immediately.
- Contact the Absa Fraud Hotline (0860 557 557) as soon as you suspect fraudulent activity on your account.
- When filling out a cheque, never leave space in front of the name of the payee or the amount in figures. Draw a line through all unused spaces.
- The payee details should appear in full, e.g. 'South African Revenue Services', rather than 'SARS'.
Keep your chequebook in a safe place.
- Don’t sign blank cheques.
- Reconcile your bank statements regularly.
- To ensure that a cheque is paid into the intended beneficiary's account, the cheque must be marked with the words ‘Not Transferable’ between two transverse lines at the top of the cheque.
- Always keep your chequebook separate from your credit cards, ATM cards or any document that bears your signature.
- If you have to post a cheque, place it in a non-transparent or dark envelope without any staples/paper clips.
- Other payment methods are safe and convenient and can save on bank charges. These include internet banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, ATM payments, debit orders and future-dated payments.
- You can stop cheques on Absa Online.
- If you sell something, never release goods until the payment has cleared into your account.
- Never accept a faxed bank deposit slip as proof of payment. Details can easily be changed to reflect a higher value or to state that the deposit was made in cash.
When receiving cheques, be aware of the following:
- There should be no variation in the handwriting
- The same pen should be used to complete the entire cheque
- There should be no visible alterations
- You should be alert to coincidences, for example, a cheque bearing the words 'SAR Steyn' could be a cleverly amended SARS cheque
Have you been asked to change the bank details for a client or supplier? This may be an attempt to defraud you.
The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has issued a safety tip in relation to a change-of-bank-account-details scam. Clients receive requests, purporting to be from genuine clients or suppliers, asking them to change the bank details used for electronic payments.
These perpetrators go to the extent of diverting correspondence from the targeted business to verify the notification to one of them, who will then validate the instruction. Always make sure that it is indeed your supplier that you are communicating with.
If you believe you are a victim of this type of fraud, report it immediately to your relationship executive. Use the Absa Fraud Hotline (0860 557 557) after hours or weekends or visit the nearest police station.
Some recommendations to reduce the risks:
- The counterfeit invoice and covering letter may be printed on a scanned copy of the company’s letterhead and the logo may appear somewhat blurred
- False confirming emails may be sent from almost identical email addresses, such as .com instead of co.za or addresses that differ from the genuine one by perhaps one letter that can be easily missed
- Always confirm any request to change bank details with your usual contact
- Instruct staff responsible for paying invoices to check invoices for irregularities and escalate suspicions to a known contact
- Consider setting up designated single points of contact with companies to which you make regular payments
- Shred your business and supplier invoices or any communication material that may contain letterheads
- Don’t publish your bank account details on the internet, as this is company private information that can be used fraudulently
- Consider reviewing previous requests to change account details to confirm they were genuine
- To prevent your clients from acting on an instruction purporting to be from you, alert them to this type of fraud
International travel: minimise your risk of theft
When you travel internationally, you will need money to make purchases. To minimise your risk of your money being stolen, you should spread the risk across a Cash Passport, cash, and your credit card (if you have one).
Safety while travelling internationally
Always bear the following in mind when travelling:
- Carry any cash or credit cards as close to your body as possible. Popular options include a travel belt or a neck pouch.
- Be aware of scams where people ask you for money or assistance in order to see where you keep your wallet or purse.
- Keep the bulk of your money, together with vital documents, such as your passport and visa, in your hotel safe when you sightsee.
Spending options: Cash, Cash Passport, credit cards
A Cash Passport is the perfect option for point-of-sale devices and cash withdrawals while abroad. It is pre-loaded with an amount of your choice (which can be added to at any stage), and is accepted worldwide at shops and ATMs displaying the Visa Electron sign. Cash is ideal for immediate purchases (such as drinks and food at the departure and arrival airports), as credit cards are not always accepted and are preferred for larger transactions.
Stay in touch with Absa while you travel
To stay in touch with Absa and to keep an eye on your accounts back home and transact when needed, we advise you to register for mobile banking.
- Carry as little cash as possible
- Pay your accounts electronically
- Make use of mobile banking
- Make use of internet transfers or ATMs
- Alternate the days and times you deposit cash
- Never make your bank visits public
- Don’t openly display your money in the bank queue
- Avoid carrying money bags or openly displaying deposit receipt books
- Visit different branches to ensure your banking pattern is not recognisable
- Consider a cash management service
- Don’t pay wages in view of the public
- Don’t use a company-branded vehicle to go to the bank
- Use an electronic alternative to pay wages
Savings clubs and stokvels:
- Don’t make cash deposits on high-risk days
- Let someone accompany you when you deposit
- Let members deposit funds directly into the account
- Arrange electronic pay-out to members’ accounts
Online shopping is quick, easy, and convenient - however, there are still some safety factors that need to be considered when using your credit card to make purchases online.
- Only place an order with your credit card on trusted websites that are verified as secure sites (look for the lock image on the toolbar).
- On the web page where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for an 's' after ‘http://’ in the web address of that page — it should read: ‘https://’. The encryption is a security measure that scrambles your data as it is entered.
- Ensure that the website is authentic and secure by finding out what other shoppers say. Some websites such as epinions.com and bizrate.com have customer evaluations, which can help you determine a company's legitimacy.
- Do not send emails that contain personal information such as your card number and expiry date.
- Use good quality antivirus software — such as the free software we provide for our Absa Online and mobile banking customers.
Although we have a number of security measures in place to protect you, your awareness is the key to avoid being a victim of phishing attacks, so bear the following in mind when you receive an email claiming to be from Absa:
- Never reply to these emails, and don’t click on any links.
- Never provide your personal details such as your PIN or account details via email or on any links within these emails. We already have information like your ID number, cell number and email address and will never ask for them via email.
- Never navigate to our site using a link from an email — always type in the address (www.absa.co.za).
- If you receive eStatements, make sure that you are opening a legitimate statement.
- Delete spam emails immediately. Even a request to remove your email address from the mailing list will confirm to the fraudsters that your email account is active, and could open you up to more attacks.
- Never open an email attachment unless you know who sent the message.
- Use the latest browsers which come with filters that alert you when you visit a website that is potentially unsafe.
When you do your banking at any of our 7 000 Absa ATMs, always ensure that you remain alert and vigilant so that you don’t become a victim of fraud or crime.
ATM safety tips
- Choose a PIN that’s difficult to guess
- Memorise your PIN so that you don’t have it written down anywhere
- Approach an ATM only under the right conditions and always be aware of your surroundings
- Check the area for suspicious-looking people before you approach the ATM
- If you think the ATM is not working, cancel the transaction immediately
- When you enter your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand so that no one else sees your PIN
- Always concentrate and keep your eyes on the screen when you are at an ATM
- If you need help, don’t ask anyone other than an Absa bank official
- Always be cautious of strangers who offer to help you at the ATM
- You shouldn’t use an ATM if it looks like the card slot, keypad or screen has been tampered with
- Ensure you get your card back every time you use it and check that it is your card
- If your card is lost or stolen, or it is retained or jammed, or somebody interferes with you while using an ATM, you should immediately call the Absa Stop Card Line (011 501 5050 or 0800 11 11 55) to report it and cancel your card
Need more help?
Let one of our consultants assist you.
Call our Security Centre on:
0860 557 557
+27 (0) 11 501 5089
3D Secure Call Centre:
+27 (0) 11 354 4058
Report phishing emails: