Cyber criminals are sending all sorts of scams related to the pandemic. Malicious websites and phishing attacks are benefitting from the COVID-19 panic, and are targeting people working from home, many of whom face dire financial situations. Scammers are setting up fake charities, advertising fake COVID-19 related products, spreading fake news and luring us with low interest loans or high return investments.
The objectives of these attempts are to steal your money and/or access your personal information.
Be wary when you see:
Don't be fooled into thinking that:
If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Be very cautious of highly lucrative investment offers.
Watch out for these known scams trying to impersonate the Sanlam brand.
Sanlam has been made aware of fraudsters pretending to represent well-known retirement benefits service providers, such as Sanlam. The fraudsters, claiming to be Sanlam employees, contact retirement fund members and mislead these unsuspecting clients into believing that additional funds are due to them. The fraudsters then obtain members’ bank account details, bank card numbers and CVV numbers, which they use to do fraudulent transactions from the members' bank accounts.
International sources have informed us about a scam that is very effective with older people. The fraudsters contact the victim, presenting themselves as the fraud department at the victim’s bank. They inform the victim that fraudulent activity was detected on their bank account and suggest that the victim transfers the money from their account to a ‘Vault Account’ for safekeeping, while the bank “investigates the attempted fraud”. The ‘Vault Account’ is owned by the fraudsters and the victim loses the money.
The information highlighted with the red flags indicates that it is fake.
Be aware of recent scams that impersonate the Sanlam Brand and target potential customers via Facebook or WhatsApp.
Fraudsters have shifted their focus to WhatsApp, Facebook or SMS because users are now more vulnerable to scams on mobile phones, as people find themselves being more distracted and often don’t apply the same vigilance on their phones as they would on their computers. The scams are quite focused and conversational, which creates trust, so please ensure that you always verify all messages received.
How does this attack work?
What to watch out for:
If you have fallen prey to such a scam, report it online. Here is an example:
This is an attack that shows the value of keeping your email account safe:
Someone manages to hack into your email account by guessing your password or tricking you into handing over your password by a cleverly crafted phishing email.
When logged into your email account, the fraudster sends Sanlam fraudulent instructions and deletes all of these emails without your knowledge. They can potentially also use your email account to reset passwords for other services you might be using that allows such changes. Should these sites not send alerting messages to your cellphone, you will not know about this.
This is a common fraud pattern and very dangerous as you may not even be aware of it happening. Due to this risk, Sanlam doesn’t accept high risk instructions by email only and will confirm such instructions with a phone call.
How to keep your Sanlam online account safe
How to spot an unsafe link
Report a scam or fraud
We encourage our staff, clients and stakeholders to report unethical or corrupt behaviour. If you suspect fraudulent activity involving any of Sanlam’s companies or clients, you can confidentially report this.