Johannesburg - Access to banking, especially for poorer communities, needs to be addressed to help reduce the risk of associated robbery, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Monday.
“Access to banking is another problem, particularly for your rural communities,” she said.
“Because they will take money from here, because they know that to access any ATM it will take them another 100km or another 50 to 80km and it's money to get to that ATM.”
Associated robbery is the robbing of a person either on their way to deposit money at a bank or after a withdrawal has been made.
Speaking at the launch in Midrand of the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) campaign for the festive season, Phiyega said she hoped the banking sector was looking at accessibility norms, as the poor were particularly exposed.
Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay, addressing the threat posed by cyber crime, said it was a serious problem in South Africa and around the world.
“Cyber crime is a serious problem, not just in South Africa. It's a global problem, a global threat at the moment,” she said.
“You are dealing with crimes that are faceless, that are borderless and that are so sophisticated. People can operate from anywhere in the world, commit their crimes anywhere.”
Sabric and the banking sector continuously educated the public about phishing scams and invested resources into systems which protected their clients from cyber crime such as phishing.
However, no matter how much effort the sector put into protecting their clients, individuals needed to play their part as well.
“I'm not sure and cannot give you any explanation as to why South Africans continue to respond to phishing e-mails. We do so much communication,” she said.
“We say to people all the time, 'Do not click on a link that is going to direct you to your bank'. We say if you want to transact with your bank, you go onto the bank's website.”
This was because the perpetrators of cyber crime played on people's emotions to get a desired response.
“They're actually so manipulative they force you to do things in a certain way,” said Pillay.
“The banks can put in as many safety mechanisms as they can, they can mitigate risk... Us, as individuals, that's where the problem lies... because we respond to how we look after ourselves and our banking differently. That is what the perpetrators know.”
She said the amount of money stolen through phishing and other forms of cyber crime ran into millions of rands, even though Sabric had noticed a downward trend in phishing occurrences.
“I can tell you that it is in the millions. It is a large amount of money.” - Sapa