Identity Theft Insurance in South Africa

Identity theft is costing South African short terms insurers billions per year and has become one of the fastest growing crimes globally. South African Fraud Prevention Services says Identity (ID) theft is a huge problem.

Identity (ID) Theft Insurance: Minimise risks by not
unnecessary carrying your ID or extra credit cards along with you

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Identity (ID) theft is on the rise and had become 'the white collar crime of choice', because it is 'so easy' – not just because of how much personal information can be accessed via the Internet, but also the 'low tech' ways that this crime can be committed, where fraudsters are continuously on the prowl for an easy buck.

The Identity (ID) theft fraud chain usually begins when people either lose personal documents like their ID book, Credit Card, Driver's Licence, Passport etc, or, with the theft of these documents. It can also happen when criminals go through your garbage to find old accounts and statements, or swipe your e-mail for the same purpose. Criminals even target the identity of the dead/deceased to commit on-line fraud.

Criminals could use the information from these stolen documents to register new credit or bank cards and run up debt in your name. Fraudsters, armed with your personal details and identity, can take out loans, apply for new Passports or Identity (ID) documents, rent an apartment, open numerous retail accounts, or open a telephone account – and go on a spending spree. They can also use other financial instruments, where you will then be held accountable for such transactions.

Often people only discovered quite late that they were or are victims of this fraud. Anyone who suspected they might be a victim of fraud, should contact their banks immediately.  Reclaiming your identity, clearing your name and restoring you credit-worthiness is often a long and expensive process that can take weeks of personal time and could cost tens of thousands of rands in legal fees.

Protect yourself against this type of crime, especially as it’s so prevalent in South Africa. Identity Theft Insurance typically reimburses the policyholder for out-of-pocket expenses, such as legal expenses they may incur in order to resolve issues surrounding an identity theft.

There are a few product options you may want to consider. These options may be confusing...

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Also, note the following guidelines and tips with regards to protecting your Personal Information:
  • Always shred or tear all documents that contain your personal information before disposal – don’t just throw away any documents that could be used to impersonate you, especially papers with sensitive financial information.
  • Make sure all your accounts have strong passwords that are not easy to guess. Passwords should consist of a combination of upper case letters, lower case letters, symbols and numbers. Don’t use the same password for all your different accounts.
  • Never respond to e-mails or SMSs that request your personal details, whether it is via a reply or by clicking on a link. You should rather contact the service provider directly to verify if your information is required.
  • Be selective about the information you share on social media sites and check that your privacy settings are always in place.
  • Only carry your Identity (ID) document and Passport when absolutely necessary. Keep these documents safely locked away the rest of the time. Also, an ID document should be protected just as carefully as a cheque book or a credit card.
  • Don’t fall for scams that claim you have won money or a prize, particularly if you don’t remember entering any competitions.
  • Regularly check your credit profile to ensure that it is up to date and that your details have not been fraudulently used. You are entitled to one free credit report each year. If there is a negative listing on your credit profile and it is not an account you opened, you need to complain to the credit bureau so that it can be investigated.

    If you have become a victim of Identity Theft:
  • Immediately contact the Police to report the theft, crime or loss of your ID or personal documents. Also contact and inform your Bank;
  • File a complaint through an ID Theft affidavit;
  • Report the fraudulent act to the main Credit Bureau via phone and follow-up letters;
  • Contact all institutions / creditors with fraudulent activity by phone and in writing;
  • Claim from your insurer;
  • Apply all possible preventative measures to avoid further exploitation.
Identity (ID) Theft Insurance: Protect your personal information
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