Bankers call for vigilance

Bankers call for vigilance

Senate Sekotlo

MASERU – BANKERS Association of Lesotho (BAL) says people should be alert to avoid falling victim to fraud during this festive season.
“We want to let our clientele know about possible fraud that happens during December,” said BAL chairman Standard Lesotho Bank boss Mpho Vumbukani (pictured).
He said fraud is usually perpetrated internally as well as externally by criminals and even international syndicates that use sophisticated methods.

The association which is made up of four banks this week launched a fraud awareness campaign aimed at helping people to be vigilant during the festive season.
“As the theme of the awareness is: Be vigilant, don’t be a victim of fraud and don’t let it happen to you, our main aim is to disseminate the message and raise awareness about fraud,” Vumbukani said during the launch of the campaign.

Vumbukani advises customers to “not accept help from strangers, keep your pin a secret, sign your documents card at the back (debit and credit card) as an additional measure against fraudsters using your card, safeguard your ATM card, credit, debit card, cheque book and bank statements at all times”.

He added: “Protect your identification documents, report suspicious behaviour to the bank and the police and report lost cards immediately.”
He said in the past they have received reports of closed cards which are on the rise, closing happen when criminals steal information on clients’ cards and reproduce similar cards to defraud clients on their bank accounts.

“I must emphasise that cases of cloned cards have been reported even in our country, so Basotho have been victims, especially when they travel to South Africa and abroad,” he said.
Banks are at the centre of the exchange of money as customers do their transactions, and as such, they have a legitimate interest to try as much as possible to protect depositors and their money.

He said the banks “have a duty to inform and warn the general public about how they should conduct themselves in the handling of their money”.
BAL is made up of Standard Lesotho Bank, First National Bank Lesotho, Nedbank Lesotho and Lesotho Post Bank.

“It is therefore important to clarify from the onset that I speak in my capacity as Chairman of BAL and as banking institutions, we speak with one voice because we have similar concerns at this time of the year,” he said.

Vumbukani said the banks are engaged in internal fraud awareness programmes where reinforcement of ethical behaviour is dealt with and the banks “are relatively winning”.
He said the dissemination is aimed at joining hands to ask for assistance from media practitioners to warn the public about external fraud that poses a threat to the clients and their money which, if not properly controlled, can lead to many social and economic problems.

Managing Director of Nedbank Lesotho, Petrus Bouwer, added that people should be vigilant about cash movements that happen in their accounts.
“This awareness is a precautionary measure the bank is taking. We are at the centre of the economy, Basotho have to be aware of their cash flow,” Bouwer said.
“In case of (robbery at) gunpoint, it is wise and important to save your life over money,” he said.

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