“Criminals have stepped up their phishing efforts to steal personal data to defraud individuals on online platforms. Debit card fraud increased by 22% (Sabric) and according to an Accenture 2020 report, there was a 100% increase in mobile banking application fraud and a 79.5% increase in card-not-present (CNP) fraud on South African-issued credit cards, says Ann Cloete, Senior Manager: Business Operations - Product, Underwriting & Portfolio Management, of Aon South Africa.

It also means that if you have a bank account and transact online, the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime is fast becoming a reality. “Phishing scams, virus attacks, fraudulent online, in-app purchases and EFTs, social engineering and identity theft affect millions of individuals every year,” she adds. “It includes everything from incorrectly entering a bank account number, to being conned into making a payment into a bogus account, or even booking your dream holiday online only to find that the accommodation does not exist.

E-commerce and cyber insurance protection

Although e-commerce and cyber insurance protection for business is common, there is a significant need for individuals to have the same protection against online banking risks.

“Aon’s Personal Funds Protect is an insurance solution specifically designed to cover you for a loss of funds from an account in your name as a result of a funds transfer - whether authorised or unauthorised - due to fraudulent conduct of a third party, which is irrecoverable from your financial institution or third party,” Ann explains.

The cover includes:

  • Email interception fraud
  • Transactions due to a stolen identity
  • EFT fraud and deposit scams
  • Hacking, phishing, and vishing attacks
  • Ransomware attacks, denial of service attacks, etc
  • Fraudulent invoices
  • Sim swap fraud
  • Online banking fraud
  • Online shopping fraud
  • Holiday scams
  • Fake classified advertisements
  • False property rentals

“It is still vital to contact your bank immediately if you suspect that you’ve been a victim of an online banking scam or that someone has gained unauthorised access to your online banking profile. You could have simply made a mistake and paid an amount into the wrong bank account,” Ann elaborates.

“Speed is of the essence as it helps your bank recover the funds. If, however, there is nothing to be done to recover these funds, Personal Funds Protect is your solution.”

Ensure you have sufficient cover

To mitigate the full financial loss of any incident that involves your online banking profile it is critical to ensure you buy enough Personal Funds Protect.

“For example, if you have R25 000 Personal Funds Protect cover but all your bank accounts are accessed, your losses could amount to much more than R25 000. It could be financially crippling. Personal Funds Protect cover is relatively inexpensive and a lifeline in the event of a loss of funds,” remarks Ann.

Cover options are available in increments from R25 000 for R20 per month, R50 000 for R33 per month and up to R1 million for R385 per month. Higher cover limits are available subject to underwriting and conditions of cover.

Personal Funds Protect, a niche product provided by Phishield UMA (Pty) Ltd and underwritten by Bryte Insurance Company Limited, is an affordable and savvy way to protect you and your bank account from potentially devastating fraudulent funds transfers.

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