Safeguard your money over the festive season

by | Nov 17, 2020 | Personal Finance

2020 has been like no other year before it. No one could ever have imagined that this year would hold so much upheaval on every level – especially on the financial front.

Many people lost their jobs and even more people had their salaries interrupted and adjusted downward.
If ever there was a time to be counting our rands and cents and keeping our money safe – then it is now. For who knows just what 2021 will bring?

If you are lucky you may have some funds available to have an enjoyable festive season – you certainly deserve it. Please just be even more vigilant than usual with your financial transaction. Because just like you have plans for your festive season monies, so do criminals. Be vigilant and on your guard at all times.

  • Avoid darkly lit ATM’s – rather draw money at till points in store. It’s safer and costs less.
  • Follow your card when making payment. Never allow your card to be taken away from you when making payment, especially when eating out. If the establishment does not have a portable point of sale device, take your card to where payment must be made and keep your eyes on it at all times.
  • If you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by crowds, or by suspicious looking people in the crowds, rather be safe than sorry and abandon the shopping for another day.
  • Make sure that you are dealing with reputable on-line retailers when making payment. Check out out a company’s online retail refund and exchange policy before making payment.
  • Buy only from reputable retailers – particularly for big ticket items. If you don’t know the store well, read their customer reviews on social media, look up their business address and phone number and check that they really exist. Some scammers list fictitious business addresses, which can be checked by using a tool such as Google Street View.
  • Be particularly cautious about who you buy from on social media marketplaces. Look at how long they have been around, and check their reviews and ratings from other customers.
  • Be aware that cyber criminals often use urgency to trick victims into clicking on dangerous links or parting with their personal and bank card information. Don’t simply click on emailed links to competitions or discount vouchers.
  • Cyber criminals can quite easily create websites and emails that appear to be from legitimate businesses. Don’t simply follow links from emails – rather go directly to the retailer’s web site. Be cautious about downloading email attachments claiming to be price lists or vouchers.
  • Check that the online retailer is using a secure payment gateway, and that the site URL begins with ‘https’ and not ‘http’. Use a secure credit card to pay, and if you don’t have a credit card, sign up for a secure payment option such as a virtual credit card or PayPal. Retain your confirmation email and proof of payment emails after making the transaction.
  • Be extra vigilant when downloading or opening any attachments which claim to have a list of specials or a brochure with specials. Rather go to the retailers site to peruse these specials.
  • Be wary of any of the traditional phishing scams which seek to ‘confirm your details’ to qualify for additional discount or to qualify for the deal.


Always know, that if after the spending and shopping is done – and you are struggling with your debt repayments in the new year – NDA is here for you.
We have been voted SA’s number one debt counselling company in the country. And you need look no further for debt advice on debt review and other debt relief options.

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