Banks are making only feeble attempts at curbing SA’s huge cybercrime wave.
What’s to be done about the billions of rand lost last year by an estimated one million South Africans who fell victim to online banking fraud and cybercrime committed by “wasps” on their cellphones? Big-scale crime – as the sophistication and relentless frequency of the phishing messages we receive by sms and email suggests it is – means there must be big stashes accumulating or “aggregating” in a few bank accounts somewhere, and that somewhere must be traceable by banks and the police – by sheer dint of the volume of the traffic.
“A lot of this crime is committed by syndicates. Criminals across the border will send out, say, 100 million phishing attacks in a day. Only a small percentage needs to bite to realise a lot of money," claimed an expert in a recent press interview.
“Phishing is an easy-to-commit, low-risk crime because the authorities don’t have the resources to catch the criminals who are making R1,000 here, R1,000 there.”
Which rather misses the point, because all those R1,000s are accumulating somewhere — creating piles worth billions — which have to be worth tracking. So much so that the banks' apparent reluctance to track the massive cash flow generated by online criminals looks downright suspicious...