Phishing – everything you need to know about not getting hooked!

What exactly is ‘phishing’?

Basically phishing is an online identity theft technique, whereby consumers are tricked into giving fraudsters private and sensitive information – such as pin numbers, passwords, credit card numbers and bank account details. Criminals then use that information to make fraudulent transactions or purchases.

How does it work?

Phishing is typically done via digital communications, like email, sms or instant messages, where criminals pose as a legitimate business. Often, they send emails that are designed to look like a genuine corporate-sent communication, which then prompts the consumer to visit fraudulent websites – via unsecured links –where they can extract personal information.

How can you tell the difference between a genuine communication and a phishing scam?

Although online fraudsters are getting smarter when it comes to phishing techniques, there are still ways to tell the difference between a legitimate email and a fake one.

  • For starters, legitimate companies, like DirectAxis, already have anti-phishing measures in place, such as only using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encrypted technology. This means all personal/sensitive information is only shared on secure pages with a high level of security for communication over the Internet.
  • A company that promotes online security will have a safety certificate guaranteeing this. DirectAxis has a Thawte Digital Certificate.
  • DirectAxis will never request personal information via email. Instead, you will be directed to our secure website.
  • DirectAxis links and URLs are always short and simple. Long and complex links are often fake and intended for fraudulent purposes.
  • A legitimate communication will always encourage consumers to visit the website via the homepage in order to ensure online security, as DirectAxis does.

Other phishing tricks you need to watch out for:

  • Spelling errors – more often than not, phishing scams are riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Always keep an eye out for these.
  • Inconsistent branding – if a digital communication doesn’t look consistent with others you have received, be aware that it may be fake. Most companies, like DirectAxis, have a strict ‘corporate identity’ – and they stick to it.
  • Accessing a site via a link – even if it looks completely legit, rather do so via the official homepage.
  • Generic/non-personalised communication – because they have no idea who they’re reaching, fraudsters often send generic messages in the hope that someone will bite. Genuine companies, on the other hand, typically personalise their communication with your name.

If you would like to report any suspicious communication you may have received, or would like to check the authenticity of an email you have been sent please call our customer care department on
021 764 3404.