Fraud Guide

Top 3 Financial Scams to Avoid

Smiling young woman looking up from her laptop

No matter how complex the scam, most scammers are focused on getting your personal details so they can steal your identity; or tricking you into paying them money so you can access your ‘winnings’ or a ‘loan’.

Upfront fees

This scam is very common and may appear in many forms. You could be offered a loan, be notified of a competition or lottery win, come into an inheritance or be told that you’re eligible for a refund

In these scams, you’ll be asked to pay an upfront fee to ‘release the funds’. This could sound quite official e.g. an admission, approval, local agent transfer or administrative fee, attorney or local agent transfer fee.

You can spot this scam due to the fantastically high loan amount or unbelievably low interest rate offered. The loan amount offered could even run into the millions, while the interest rate will be significantly lower than is typically offered by lenders.

Once you’ve paid the upfront fee, you never receive the promised money and the scammers pocket your cash.

Identity theft

Identity theft scams may look a lot like the ones asking for an upfront fee. To claim your prize money or inheritance, you could be asked for personal and banking information so that the ‘prize’ can be deposited into your account.

Once they have your personal information, scammers can open bank or store accounts and take out loans in your name. You could end up being liable for debts you didn’t incur.

What information is needed for identity theft?

  • ID
  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Email account
  • Payslip
  • Utility bill
  • Account statements
  • Bank statements

Remote access to your personal and banking information

In these scams, fraudsters use sophisticated software programs to take control of your computer remotely and access your personal information and banking profile.

  • You may receive a call from someone who offers to help you block fraudulent transactions by downloading protective software onto your computer.
  • You’re then prompted to log into your online banking profile.
  • Shortly after, you’ll start to receive OTPs on your phone to confirm transactions you did not make. The caller will ask you to forward the OTPs to him so he can ‘block’ the transactions on your behalf.
  • The fraudster then uses the OTPs to process the transactions and defrauds you. 


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DirectAxis is a business unit of FirstRand Bank Limited, an Authorised Financial Services and Registered Credit Provider, NCRCP20. Direct Axis SA (Pty) Ltd, Reg no. 1995/006077/07, an authorised Financial Services Provider, FSP7249 & FSP5. 108 De Waal Road, Diep River 7800.

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Loan repayment terms range from 24 to 72 months. The maximum interest rate with regards to a DirectAxis Personal Loan is 24.75% per annum (compounded monthly). Your rate and initiation fee will be determined according to your personal risk profile.

An illustrative example of a loan at an interest rate of 24.75% per annum would be: Loan amount R50 000 plus a once-off initiation fee of R1 207.50 and a monthly admin fee of R69.00, over 72 months.

The total cost of the loan will be R 103 718.91 which is a maximum Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 28.01%.