Safeguard Your Golden Nest Egg

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Retirement is a time for you to be enjoying a more relaxed pace of life, spending time with loved ones and friends, and enjoying the fruits of your working career.  However, retirees could be at risk of becoming victims of cybercrime fraudsters who are targeting your ‘nest egg’. 

The reality is that retirees are targets of brazen criminals who will exploit vulnerabilities to get access to retirement savings. As retirees are no longer economically active, any loss of funds due to a fraudulent scheme can have devastating consequences for their financial security as losses are not easily recoverable.

Fraudsters often come across as being genuine, sophisticated, and sincere in their approach, materialising out of thin air to be of assistance during a complex transitional phase. “When reaching your retirement age, there are often large lump sums paid out or monthly retirement fund payments set up to be deposited into your bank account. The fraudsters will either try or get hold of your personal information or your account details to intercept any payments that are being made.

Here are a few examples of scams being deployed by fraudsters:

Retirement fund or medical aid imposter scam

The fraudster contacts you pretending to be from your retirement fund administrator or medical aid company, often wanting confirmation of account details to process a payment(s) or to make changes to your policy. The fraudsters have done their homework and will send e-mails from similar domain names or use phone numbers that correspond with your retirement fund administrator or medical aid company.

Computer tech support

A fraudster will contact you in the guise of a tech support person calling from your retirement fund administrator to help you set up any Apps that are needed on your computer or mobile device. Note that any bank, retirement fund administrator, or medical aid would never ask you to provide personal information such as bank account details and passwords over the phone or via e-mail.

The doting grandparent scam

The fraudster will call you, pretending to be your grandchild who is in desperate need of financial aid. The scammer will swear the grandparent to secrecy as their parents are not supposed to know about the supposed financial conundrum they got themselves into.

Phishing scams and social engineering

Phishing involves unsolicited messages (e-mails, SMS, and WhatsApp) to convince you to provide personal information, bank details, and passwords by clicking on a link to provide the same. This is often done by means of social engineering where the fraudster uses the identity of someone known to the victim. 

Vishing scams

The fraudsters call you to advise that there is fraud on your account.  They can go as far as sending fake SMSs and even tell you to call the number back to verify that they are calling from your bank. When you call the number back, it answers as if it is a bank call centre to lul you into a false sense of security to provide your one-time pin sent to you by your bank. Once the fraudster has it, they can clear out your bank account. 

The level of resourcefulness should not be underestimated. Always regard every message or e-mail that is sent to you, any phone call that you may receive or request from an official with a healthy dose of skepticism. Call your retirement fund administrator, medical aid company, or family member back directly to confirm any request made, in order to prevent fraudsters from getting their hands on your personal details.

Funds Protect cover is relatively inexpensive for what it provides and will be a lifeline in the event of a loss of funds related to your retirement fund. 

Visit www.aon.co.za for more information.