What is phishing?

Every now and then you may get an email that’s clearly a scam. Whether it’s because it unbelievably comes from a high-profile person like a king or minister, or it’s riddled with poor spelling and images, you know that it’s fake.

However, it’s still possible that you could open an email that looks like it comes from Absa or another official organisation, when it doesn’t. Because it looks so real, before you know it you may have given your private information over to hackers.

We care about you and your safety is our priority. We’ve put together the latest examples of scams that you may fall victim to so that you can be aware and know how to spot the real from the fake.


How to spot phishing 


Suspicious emails asking you for help from a high-profile person, like a prince


Legitimate-looking emails asking you to share your PIN or password. 


Legitimate-looking emails asking you to click to get something that you didn’t apply for. 


Emails pressuring you to take action like deactivating your account.

How to protect yourself

Hackers or fraudsters who send phishing emails are trying to accomplish one of the following:

  • Getting you to open malicious attachments that contain malware
  • Getting you to provide sensitive information like your PIN or password.

Hackers will take control of your identity and gain access to your accounts or your company’s data.

Absa will NEVER ask you for your PIN, password or passcode, transaction verification or card CVV number

To report any suspicious activity, contact the Absa Fraud Hotline in one of the following ways:

  • Via the Absa Banking App by using the click to call functionality
  • Call 0860 557 557 or 011 501 5089
  • Report the phishing email as an attachment to Secmon@absa.co.za

Security Alert (Absa Rewards) – Please be aware of the Scam advising all registered internet banking users that Absa is undergoing a maintenance exercise to improve their banking service and rescue customers from the rate of spam virus on the Online Bank Portal. The email further directs the customer to a Phishing Link for verification and to avoid account suspension. 


From: Absa <billyh@decidefunctional.co.za>
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 4:15:33 AM
To: Recipients <billyh@decidefunctional.co.za>
Subject: Security Alert



This message is from ABSA to all users registered internet banking.
ABSA BANK: we are undergoing maintenance exercise to improve our
service and rescue you for the rate of spam virus in our Online Bank

Kindly follow the verification Authorize link here to avoid Account

Absa Bank Team
Yours sincerely.

Scam example

Customer banking alert – Please be aware of the Phishing email advising customers that it had been discovered that some vital profile records on their profile are irregular or incomplete, therefore, some sensitive features had been limited. The customer is directed to a Phishing link to confirm and update their records in order for the account to continue working properly.

From: ABSA - [mailto:reactivate@mcb.co.za]
Sent: 31 December 2020 05:52 AM
Subject: Customer banking alert

Dear Client

We discovered some vital profile records on your profile are
irregular or incomplete therefore some sensitive features have been limited.

Please confirm and update your records and your account will continue working properly.

Online Service ©2020

Ebanking security alert – Please be aware of the Phishing email advising customers that while doing routine account maintenance, irregular logon attempts using the customers userpin has been discovered, therefore, some online access features has been deactivated. The customer is directed to a Phishing link to reactivate their access.

From: Absa online service <officialemail@absa.co.za>
Sent: Thursday, 31 December 2020 7:26 AM
Subject: Ebanking security alert

Secure ibanking alert

During our routine accounts maintenance we discovered some irregular
logon attempts with your userpin and have therefore deactivated some
online access features.

Please SIGNON to secure page to reactivate access.

Online Service

Always #ProtectYourKeysToTheSafe

Need more help?

Please get in touch with us.

Fraud Hotline

0860 557  557

+27 (0) 11 501 5089

3D Secure Call Centre

+27 (0) 11 354 4058

Report phishing emails