Over the past two years, South African companies have reported that they have been victims of cyberattacks and data breaches. Photo: Istock


This week, my mother was nearly a victim of banking fraud. The scam was so well executed that she would most likely have fallen for it. I am hard-wired to look for scams due to the nature of my work, but the reality is that scamsters are becoming increasingly clever and have more access to our personal information than ever before.

This particular scam involved an email from what appeared to be the SA Post Office.

My mother was expecting a package to be delivered from overseas and received this email explaining that the parcel could not be delivered because an import duty of $2.99 was outstanding.

They wanted her to fill in her credit card details, including her card’s CVV number, so they could deduct the funds.

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This all made sense to her as she was waiting for a package, but her only concern was how the post office had obtained her email address. When I looked at the email, several red flags popped up.

Firstly, while the sender’s email was titled “post office” the domain was @online.nl. It also made no sense why the post office would want my mother to pay the duty in dollars, and I know from experience that you usually only pay the duty when you collect the…

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