BY: ITWeb, Staff Writer.
The Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) plans to launch a web-based portal to help South Africans combat fraud and scams.
In a statement issued this week, the SAFPS says the portal, which is in development, will be launched in June, after undergoing “significant” beta testing.
Called Yima, it will allow users to report a scam incident, or any suspicious activity, to the SAFPS. This includes fake or suspect-looking online shopping websites or portals, and instances where the user has received phony banking information.
These reports, says the SAFPS, will be collated and shared with law enforcement for investigation. Users will also be provided with a scams hotline to report a fraud incident directly to their banks, retailers or insurance companies.
Additionally, Yima users will have access to the consumer products and services offered by the SAFPS.
Says Nazia Karrim, SAFPS head of product development: “Once launched, the website will be a one-stop-shop for South Africans to report scams, secure their identity and scan any website for vulnerabilities related to scams.
“They will also be able to educate themselves on identifying a scam. These tools will enable consumers to surf the net more confidently and go about their daily lives aware and informed.”
The portal comes as statistics from the SAFPS show there was a 600% increase in fraud incidents reported by its members in 2022, when compared to 2018.
According to Karrim, over the years, the SAFPS has rolled out several communication campaigns to educate South Africans about the various fraud schemes and scams.
However, the challenge is that reporting a scam – while important – is a reactive response once a person has already become a victim.
Therefore, Yima’s launch is in line with the organisation’s efforts to establish a “proactive approach” to combatting fraud and scams.
“The most unique element of Yima is the ability to provide the consumer with the tools to be proactive when preventing scams, and the services to assist them when they fall victim to a scam.
“This will make a significant difference in the war on scams. Empowering the consumer is key to prevention,” concludes Karrim.
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