The New Development Bank (NDB) has warned the public about hoax emails offering financial services to unsuspecting people. The banks says that people posing as NDB employees are sending emails offering loans and assistance with opening bank accounts, among others to get access to people's personal information. Picture: Supplied

PRETORIA - The New Development Bank (NDB) has warned about an e-mail scam in which criminals are posing as bank employees in an attempt to defraud unsuspecting individuals. 

The financial institution has stated that it is not a commercial bank and does not open accounts for individuals, provide them with loans or any form of financing. It also doesn't ask for payments or any other favours from potential recipients of funding. 

A typical ploy scammers use is to send an e-mail or other communication that appears to come from a bank or other trustworthy source requesting personal information such as identity documents, driver’s licences, passports, payslips, addresses and contact details. 

“The New Development Bank does not send unsolicited e-mails or any other communication asking people to open a personal bank account, transfer money, or provide personal information,”NDB Director General, Africa Regional Centre (ARC), Monale Ratsoma, said. 

The bank has advised members of the public to contact police if they receive such communication.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), said that fraudulent activity tends to increase over the festive season when year-end bonuses are paid and when consumers may not be as vigilant as usual. 

The following advice is offered to consumers to protect themselves: 

  • Be very wary about responding to unsolicited messages. Remember that scammers use a variety of channels including e-mail, mail, phone and social media. Verify all requests for personal information and only provide it when there is a legitimate reason to do so.
  • Be suspicious of e-mails or messages that contain spelling or grammatical errors or other inconsistencies such as Gmail addresses, rather than a company domain e-mail.
  • Be wary of requests for upfront payments or payment for goods or services you haven’t or don’t remember ordering, especially if you’re asked to use an unusual payment method such as MoneyGram.

- African News Agency (ANA)