Scams are everywhere. Here’s how to be vigilant.

The internet and all its associated digital tools empower us to work faster, communicate better, and transact more efficiently. Unfortunately, it also gives those with malicious intent more opportunities to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Fraud works because it manipulates trust. Contrary to popular belief, it does not come down to the victim’s intelligence but rather the shrewdness of the criminal. Everyone is at risk.

Fraudulent activities are becoming increasingly sophisticated which makes it even more imperative to be extra vigilant. All businesses are at risk of being imitated by scammers that lure people into phishing scams. We remain surprised by the audacity and ingenuity of criminals. And unfortunately, GENFIN is no exception. Our clients have also fallen prey to online scams. Phishing is a common technique whereby cybercriminals use scam emails, phone calls, or messages to trick victims into transacting or sharing sensitive information. It is a distressing experience, and the financial consequences can be devastating.

The good news is that fraud is highly preventable. But it requires foresight. Online transactions with a company that involves money or the exchange of personal information should always be treated with a healthy dose of suspicion. We’ve put together a handy checklist with valuable insights and practical tips to recognise common scams and practice safe online behaviour. Remember, your online safety is in your hands.

Check the company name, URL, or account name

Phishing scams mimic a business to elicit a reaction from people. Victims might receive an email, text message, or social media message asking for personal information or attempting to hijack a transaction.

Your first port of call is checking the company’s name. Does it correlate with its registered company name? Our registered company name is Genfin (PTY) Ltd, and we advertise as Genfin Business Finance. Anything that deviates from that is very likely from a scammer.

Next, check the URL from which you received the message or the URL of any links included in the message. Our URL is genfin.co.za. Any emails or links sent from GENFIN will contain this URL. Any deviations like genfin.com or genfinance.co.za should be treated with caution. Note the name may be accurate, but the URL very often gives it away.

Avoid getting social with fake accounts

If a message is received via a social media platform, click on the sender’s account. Again, check the name and check any company information or URLs on the page – more often than not it’s the first indicator that something is not quite right.

Our Facebook page can be found at Facebook.com/genfinbusinessfinance. We are not active on the platform in any other capacity.  Other ways of identifying fake accounts include looking at the profile or cover picture. An absent profile picture is a cause for alarm. Real users typically have an album of profile or cover pictures, changing them regularly as the profile evolves.

Also take a look at the tabs or links on the page, including ‘About’, ‘Mentions’, or ‘Followers’. If these sections are populated and active, it’s a good sign. Fake profiles typically have very few followers or friends and little interaction with other accounts. Also, check the timeline. Real users tend to have a number of diverse posts across a number of years on their timelines, including videos, images, links, and text updates.

Always cross-check suspicious messages

Always consider the nature of the message – does it align with the company’s style of doing business? In our case, GENFIN is a business funding solutions provider. Under no circumstances will we ever extend an offer of a personal loan to anyone. If the message you receive contradicts the company’s products, services, or narrative, you are right to suspect phishing. If you receive a message from a company that demands money, personal information, or just seems odd, verify its authenticity via a separate, trusted channel. Do not act on any requests until you have received verification. Do not respond and do not click on any links provided.

What if it happens to me?

It is our collective responsibility to report any fraudulent activity. Your actions could prevent others from suffering a similar fate. At GENFIN, we are committed to investigating any and all illegal representations of our brand and business. If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, please reach out to us with the following information –

  • The phone number or contact details used during your exchange with the fraudster(s).
  • Any names, surnames, or aliases provided by the fraudster(s).
  • Any requests for payment received from the fraudster(s).
  • Any banking details provided by the fraudster(s).

We further encourage you to block the number, email address, or social media account in question as well as report the incident to your bank and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

We’re here to help

From your first application through to your final payment or refinancing, your entire GENFIN journey is supported by a dedicated funding analyst. That includes any concerns or suspected fraudulent activity. Your personal funding analyst is standing by to take your call and provide guidance during uncertain times. 

Email us: info@genfin.co.za

Call us: 0800 GENFIN (436346)

Together, we get it done.