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When scammers prowl on the economy, your business needs the protection and security of theft insurance. Learn more about the latest data on the topic here.

Is your business at risk for losses and damages due to theft or fraud? You can get theft insurance for business today to protect your a wide range of risk factors.

New Fraud-Related Data Released by TransUnion

According to the latest data gathered by South African consumer credit reporting agency, TransUnion, debt and scams are on the rise. This is because when people experience financial difficulties, they often turn to desperate measures so they can continue providing for their loved ones. This in turn makes them vulnerable to scams.

The new data released in the TransUnion Consumer Pulse Report makes it clear that the pandemic has influenced the economy that is widely felt. 87% of consumers indicated that they are concerned about whether they can still pay their bills and loans. In fact, only 3% of people said their finances had recovered fully from the pandemic’s impact!

Even so, the data reveals that South Africans feel positive about recovering, and more than half of people believe they will fully recover within the next year. The pandemic has also had a good influence on consumer financial management, as 83% of people reported that they view savings as more important since the COVID-19 pandemic. An even high number value access to credit.

When Debt Rises, Fraud Rises

The TransUnion’s latest data revealed that 5% of people were victims of fraud in the last 3 months, but that attempts had been made on 37% of people. This equates to more than a third of South Africans! This rise in fraud comes as tensions rise globally around the economic impacts of lockdowns and COVID-related job losses.

It’s no surprise then that the most common fraud scheme reported was one that targeted unemployment-related vulnerabilities. Second and third place go to phishing scams and third-party seller scams occurring on legitimate online retail websites.

How Are People Dealing with the Financial Impact of COVID-19?

According to the report, many consumers have adopted various strategies to cope. More than 90% of consumers think access to credit is important, and more than a third of South Africans are delving into their savings to help pay bills. Even though people think credit is important, more than two thirds of South Africans haven’t applied for credit yet.

Usually, their reasons were that the cost of credit was too high, they thought their application wouldn’t be accepted due to their income status or level, and because of a bad credit history. People have dubbed the rise in scams since corona hit as cybercriminals exploiting “corona mania” according to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre. Your business could be at risk for theft and fraud through scams, phishing, and SMishing.

Are you adequately protected by your insurance company for any theft losses and fraud-related damages? Your insurance policy does not necessarily cover all the risks, even if it is a business insurance policy. Below, we look at what theft risks and scams you can prepare for and the type of insurance you need to cover various challenges relating to your type of business.

6 Fraud and Theft Risks to Protect Your Business From

1. Robbery and Burglary

Are you worried about thieves sneaking onto your premises and bypassing your security measures to carry away valuable essential machinery and equipment? Your commercial property insurance isn’t designed to cover theft losses. If your business is at risk for robbery or burglary losses, you can benefit from business contents insurance.

You can also choose to get a policy designed specifically for your industry, such as engineer’s insurance. It often includes machinery cover for your essential electronics alongside cover for losses and damage due to a natural disaster.

2. Scams

Most scams occur over the phone or the internet. There is a vast array of scams your company could be exposed to. Since the pandemic, scammers trick people by exploiting their financial or health and safety concerns using social engineering.

These criminals know how to identify weaknesses in your IT security and trick people into exposing your digital information and property without realising it. To protect yourself against such crimes, theft insurance or crime insurance are two options to consider.

3. Phishing

Phishing is a digital form of piracy that allows hackers and scammers to steal important information and use it to steal your valuables, blackmail you, hack your data, and much more. If you’re concerned about possible theft and losses due to phishing scams, you can get cyber security for business. This form of security is designed to protect digital assets and information.

4. SMishing

Phishing often happens through emails or websites, but a new method utilised by criminals is called SMishing, where the criminal uses SMSes to gain access to your bank account. They do this by tricking cell phone users into clicking a link that then allows them to access your information. Cyber or criminal insurance can also cover losses due to SMishing, but be sure to read through your policy documentation and discuss it with your insurer, as it can sometimes fall into a grey area.

5. Identity Theft

Finally, identity theft can wreak havoc on your business and personal life. Sometimes key person insurance may cover identity theft, but most often it is a cover type you will need to purchase n its own to add to your portfolio. Identity theft insurance isn’t a common type of insurance, but in South Africa you will find a few providers who offer it.

6. Employee Theft

Stock insurance and employee theft insurance can offer employee dishonesty coverage and losses caused by employees stealing from the company. Crime coverages can get interesting, so to make sure your insurance premiums don’t get too high and that all your risks are adequately covered, it’s a good idea to discuss your options with your insurance company before finalising your package.

Steps to Take to Protect Your Business from Phishing and SMishing Fraud and Theft

  • If you get an email with links or icons from an email address you don’t know, don’t click on it.
  • Don’t reply to these emails either.
  • Go ahead and delete them immediately.
  • Don’t believe what you read in these emails. Do not trust the contents. Sometimes they can appear to be from a legitimate source, such as your bank.
  • Contact the sender, such as your bank, through official contact information, and confirm whether they sent it. You can let them know that you are concerned about the email, and they should give it through to their fraud department.
  • Before you enter any personal information, check that you are on the authentic site. You can use website such as scamadvisor.com to assess the quality or trustworthiness of a website.
  • Do not click on links, icons, or text on the email.
  • Don’t reply to phone calls or SMSes, and do not forward SMSes or click on the links in the SMS.
  • Remove them immediately. Remember, do not put your faith in the content of the SMSes, no matter what they promise or how legitimate it seems.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal or medical advice. The information provided is correct at the time of publication.

Sources: businesstech;

Covid-19 South Africa

For information about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, plus statistics on its spread in SA and related government press releases go to https://sacoronavirus.co.za/

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