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What is SAFPS Protective Registration?

Identity fraud, also known as identity theft, occurs when someone uses an individual’s personal information without their permission to commit fraud or other crimes. It can happen in many ways, from stealing their credit card information to opening a bank account in their name, and it can have serious financial and legal consequences.

Any individual who believes they’ve been a victim of identity fraud will need to act quickly and concisely. The longer the delay, the more difficult it can be to resolve the issue. But having an identity stolen is a high-pressure situation. It tends to leave people’s heads reeling from shock and worry. And they’re (most likely) not a financial expert. Who do they report this to? How do they take action? How do they prove they’re innocent? How do they get their money back? What about their credit score? All these questions come crashing down on them at once and it is overwhelming.

It is better to be prepared.

Who is SAFPS?

The South African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) is a non-profit organisation that aims to prevent fraud resulting from identity theft and impersonation. Their goal is to protect individuals from the financial impact of fraud by facilitating the sharing of fraud data among their members, who are organisations in various industries including banking, retail, financial services, telecommunications, motor vehicle finance, and insurance.

Through their central database, SAFPS allows organisations to share records of fraud securely and efficiently. This comprehensive database enables SAFPS to identify patterns of fraud and take proactive steps to prevent fraud from occurring.

SAFPS has been in operation since 2001 and has prevented billions of rand worth of fraud losses within the South African economy. This has been achieved by their members and consumers reporting fraudulent activity to SAFPS, allowing them to quickly identify and prevent further fraudulent transactions.

One of the services SAFPS offers is Protective Registration, which allows individuals to register their personal information with SAFPS.

What is Protective Registration?

Protective Registration is a service offered by the SAFPS that allows individuals to register their personal information with SAFPS in order to monitor and protect their identity from potential fraud.

It involves submitting personal details, such as ID number, passport number, and driver’s license number, to SAFPS. SAFPS will then verify this information and add it to their central database, which is regularly monitored for any suspicious activity.

If any fraudulent activity is detected, SAFPS will notify the individual and guide what steps to take next. This early warning system can help individuals take proactive steps to protect their identity and prevent further damage.

SAFPS Protective Registration is particularly useful for individuals who are at a higher risk of identity theft, such as those who have had their identity stolen in the past, or those who have lost their personal documents. It can also be useful for individuals who are concerned about the security of their personal information in today’s digital age.

How to apply for Protective Registration.

Anyone can apply for Protective Registration in one of three ways: online, via email at protection@safps.org.za, or by requesting a callback. In order to apply, an individual will need a certified copy of their ID document, temporary ID or application for a new ID, a copy of their proof of address and a Protective Registration application form. Protective Registration is a free service offered to the South African public.

What happens after a listing?

If an individual applies for goods or services with a SAFPS member and has a fraud listing, the member will receive an alert indicating that the identification number has been linked to a previous fraudulent incident. This may suggest that the individual has unknowingly been a victim of identity theft and fraud. In this case, the consumer will be directed to the listing member for further information, and if they are indeed a victim, the listing member will add them to the Victim of Impersonation list after verification.

The Victim of Impersonation list complements the existing fraud record in the SAFPS database and allows members to verify the authenticity of the identity holder. Similarly, the Protective Registration listing works in the same manner. If an individual has lost their identity document or suspects their personal information has been compromised, they can apply for a Protective Registration listing through the SAFPS website. This provides SAFPS members with an alert to take extra care in verifying the legitimate identity holder, not an imposter.

Each member has its verification protocols, but most will require the consumer to provide their Protective Registration reference number or a copy of the letter received from SAFPS during the verification process. The Protective Registration and Victim of Impersonation listings are proactive measures that SAFPS takes to prevent and reduce the financial impact of fraud resulting from identity theft and impersonation.

How long does Protective Registration last?

SAFPS retains fraud listings on their database for ten years, after which they are deleted automatically. However, in some instances, the listing member may request the removal of the listing before the ten-year period is up, such as if it was listed in error or response to a dispute.

Victim of Impersonation and Protective Registration listings are regarded as protective measures against identity theft and fraud and are considered positive listings. These listings remain on the SAFPS database indefinitely or until the consumer requests their removal.

The short of it

Identity theft and fraud can have devastating financial and legal consequences for individuals, making it crucial to act quickly and take proactive measures to protect personal information. The SAFPS is a non-profit organisation that offers Protective Registration, a service designed to monitor and protect individuals from potential fraud. Through the SAFPS central database, members can share records of fraud and identify patterns to prevent further fraudulent activity. Protective Registration is particularly useful for individuals at a higher risk of identity theft and is free for the South African public. The Victim of Impersonation and Protective Registration listings are seen as positive measures to protect against identity theft and fraud and remain on the SAFPS database indefinitely or until the consumer requests their removal. Overall, SAFPS plays a vital role in preventing and reducing the financial impact of fraud resulting from identity theft and impersonation.

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Picture of Dalene Deale

Dalene Deale

Dalene Deale brings extensive experience in the financial sector, having held a variety of roles in business analysis, process engineering, corporate acquisition and fintech management. Using her passion, knowledge and expertise, Dalene previously oversaw TransUnion’s FinTech strategy, assisting them throughout their various stages of growth. Now, as the Executive head at Secure Citizen, her passion and driving force is to “empower every African with a secure, digital identity.”

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