BEING in debt and ATM fraud are among the many problems stopping Mzansi from enjoying their money.

That is according to the Ombudsman for Banking Services, which last week released its annual report. This revealed:

• Stress-related debt complaints almost doubled from the previous year’s 3,4% to 6,5%

• Their call centre handled 26 970 calls, 58% more than the past two years

• ATM fraud complaints dropped by 4% from 18% the previous year to 14%

Banking services Ombudsman Reana Steyn said: “We had an average of 41 business days to close a case and the service standard to resolve complaints in four months was achieved in 95,3% of cases.”

She said customer complaints about internet banking fraud and ATM and credit card-related complaints kept the office busy.

“Online banking complaints are the biggest pain point.”

The number of online banking related complaints closed by the office in 2018 was less than the previous year but was still the top category of complaints.

The second category was ATM-related complaints, at 14%, a decrease of 4% from 2017.

“This may show that customers are more careful at ATMs, or that fraudsters are targeting other avenues,” Steyn said.

“Internet banking, ATM and credit card fraud make up 48% of complaints in the office. People fall victim to scams and fraud targeting unsuspecting people”.

She said fraudsters and hackers are working around the clock to produce fake copies of bank websites and pretend to be bank staff, emailing and phoning bank customers.

Steyn warned that these emails and calls are so convincing that many get taken in despite the warnings issued by banks and their office. “Thousands are fooled by scammers.”

Often, people are scammed into revealing their banking details, passwords and PIN numbers.

Most incidents happen in Gauteng at 42%, followed by Western Cape at 15% and KZN at 3%.

Steyn said 70% of complainants were people over the age of 40.

People are encouraged to bring complaints to the ombudsman.