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Standard Bank still battling fraud attempts as clients fume

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 04 Jul 2024
Standard Bank has revealed further fraud attempts on international transactions.
Standard Bank has revealed further fraud attempts on international transactions.

Standard Bank is aware of further fraud attempts on some international transactions, it says. This, after the bank’s clients this week took to social media to flag fraud and attempted fraud on their accounts.

Responding to e-mailed questions, Standard Bank says it continues to receive customer queries relating to potential fraud, stating its fraud mitigation measures are “robust” and “continue to protect and inform customers” of any potential fraud on their accounts.

“Due to the nature of these incidents, Standard Bank issued a direct fraud notification to impacted customers on 2 July 2024. This contributed to increased call volumes to the bank’s call centre, impacting call waiting times. The bank once again wishes to apologise for any delays experienced and assures customers that it will continue to take steps to protect them.

“Our fraud detection systems will continue to actively identify and block any suspected fraudulent transactions and/or affected cards. Any customer whose card has been blocked due to potential fraud will be reissued with a replacement card, as is standard practice.”

The bank did not answer ITWeb’s question about how many customers have been impacted as a result of the fraudulent attempts.

This week saw some of the bank’s customers turn to social media to complain about fraudulent transactions and flocking to the bank’s branches in an attempt to block their cards.

Other reports indicate the bank’s fraud department has been inundated with calls from customers, making it impossible for others to report their issues.

On Thursday, some customers were still flagging fraudulent transactions or seeking updates in regards to the cases they reported.

Using social media network X (formerly Twitter), some of the customers had this to say:

@vanderkurie wrote: “Today I woke up to another charge from you, when you know that my account is compromised. I removed my money because you couldn’t keep it safe. Now you charge honouring fee for what?”

@uNjabulo_ said: “I reported two fraudulent transactions that were pending on Tuesday. Now tell me why those transactions were approved and I am getting charged international fees for fraudulent transactions that I reported two days ago.”

@carlzypfortner wrote: “@StandardBankZA fraud that happened to me on the Monday was refunded to me last night. I woke up this morning with yet ANOTHER transaction of a different amount on my account! What the hell is happening? I’m currently waiting on your fraud line. 38 minutes and counting on hold!”

@NalediMpanya said: “@StandardBankZA, two unauthorised transactions went off my mom’s account at 1am. She is a pensioner bakithi. Now she’ll have to spend all her airtime on the phone with your fraud department.”

One X user noted a Brazilian payment made using a card they have yet to pick up from the branch.

@C_live_free wanted to know: “@StandardBankZA HOW can there be transactions going off from my account with my NEW card that I have not received yet!”

Meanwhile, there have been some optimistic responses, with customer @MsT111519 writing: “@StandardBankZA Thank you for refunding the missing fraudulent funds.”

A customer confirmed to ITWeb that the bank reversed everything on their business account, after reporting unknown withdrawals and debits they could not locate on the app. “I had my card in my pocket when the SMS for withdrawal happened...sent the account into a minus and luckily only had a balance less than R200.”

Amid these issues, the bank has encouraged customers to use alternative channels, such as its app and internet banking, to report fraud or manage their cards and payments. This is in addition to its call centre.

“Standard Bank will always evaluate each case of alleged fraud on its individual merits to ensure a fair resolution for customers and remains committed to minimising potential financial losses for customers.

“We will continue to communicate with impacted customers to address their complaints, in line with our zero-tolerance approach towards fraudulent activities.”

Standard Bank group CIO Jörg Fischer previously told ITWeb TV that the bank spends R1 billion on cyber security out of its R25 billion annual technology budget.