According to the 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey conducted by PWC South Africa, the global average rate of reported economic crime is listed as 49%. In South Africa? Much higher than the average, it stands at 77%.

The South African Fraud Prevention Services (SAFPS) has listed a 56% increase of new listings relating to fraud crimes in 2017. The report adds that at least 70% of men make up the number of fraudsters and are between the ages of 26 to 35 years of age.

Women make up 33% of victims and most fall in the 36 to 45 year old segment.

According to the press release, the SAFPS also confirm that out of all the cases, forged documents and employment application fraud are the highest in the category of cases that were filed.

Unsurprisingly sectors most affected by fraud include banking with micro finance, asset finance, clothing and furniture retail as well as telecoms, says Manie van Schalkwyk, head of SAFPS.

With the record-breaking amount of fraud and scams that are home to South Africa, we’ve compiled a list of handy articles that will arm you with some handy tips on how to be extra vigilant:

1. Could that job you’re applying for be a scam?

Job-hunting is a nightmare – it’s particularly difficult amongst the youth of South Africa where unemployment rates are high. Scammers make it their business to target the vulnerable, and they often use methods that appeal to what the unemployed need and desire most: a steady job and financial stability.

Read more on signs you should look out for that could indicate that the job you’re applying for is a scam.

2. How private or safe is your online footprint?

With the recent Facebook data debacle, many people have been debating whether or not to delete their Facebook accounts. And also the privacy of their information they share and who it is shared with.

It’s easy to think of that as an immediate option, but here’s the thing deleting it won’t change the fact that your information has gone through a number of third party apps. You can, however, now that you’re aware of this, arm yourself with knowledge on how to protect yourself.

Read our in-depth guide on how to make your online experience a safer and more protected one.

WATCH: Top 10 scams


3. A reminder that you can be a tech guru and can still get scammed

Case in point: Drum magazine's digital editor, Pam Magwaza shared her experience on how she was almost scammed by someone who offered to buy her expensive camera on a popular classifieds website.

She says: “Be careful when sending or receiving money online! PayPal is a tried and tested service – but there are con-men out there looking to exploit users. I almost lost my camera, not to mention wasting too much time on a scammer.”

Read the rest of the story to find out how she came to the realisation that she was about to be scammed big time!

4. On a related note, social media is also a minefield... 

Keen on online dating? Watch out that you’re not being catfished. Never, ever respond to mails offering large sums of money for no apparent reason. Most importantly be careful of who it is that you’re sharing your personal information with – since identity theft is particularly so rife.

Read more on the common type of social media scams you should be on the lookout for.

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