Mobile phone snatching is on the rise

The trend to snatch victim’s mobile phones to access their personal and confidential information is growing.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) acting Chief Executive Officer, Susan Potgieter warns bank customers if they don’t secure their mobile phones, criminals will steal them and use several ways to access their important information.

“Personal information is a valuable commodity for criminals since so much of it is on our phones, we need to take mobile security,” said Potgieter.

She further warns that criminals access open applications on mobile phones whose owners don’t lock to view sensitive information.

“They use social engineering tactics to get usernames and passwords in the cloud. Crooks use various methods to call their victims, duping them into believing it is the bank. They coerce victims to reveal confidential information, PIN numbers and passwords,” added Potgieter.

Potgieter alerts that victims receive emails, which they believe are from the bank or a legitimate service provider, asking them to click on a link that requests PIN numbers or passwords.

“Once compromised password on your snatched phone, other credentials are available. Besides social engineering, they compromise your credentials through shoulder surfing in public places such as restaurants,” added Potgieter.

If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, said Potgieter borrow a phone and contact your bank to deactivate your banking app and to block your account.

“Make sure you always have your bank hotline number stored somewhere. If you have activated the Find My iPhone’ or ‘Find my Device from the web to locate or wipe your device, know that fraudsters may try to Vish or Phish you.”

It isn’t safe for the victims to click on any link when they receive an email or SMS after blocking their account.

“When thieves steal mobile phones, they focus on protecting their photos and social media profiles, and but, their highest priority is to protect their money.” Concludes Potgieter.

To further protect yourself, visit


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