Fraudsters will pull out all stops to impersonate Allan Gray, such as replicating Allan Gray emails and forms and even posing as Allan Gray representatives on social media. Werner Lunow provides a summary of our top security tips to help protect your investments from these opportunistic criminals.
Safeguard your investments from fraud attempts
Use official Allan Gray channels
Submit transactions via your secure Allan Gray Online (AGO) account, which you should always access via the official Allan Gray website. You can check the validity of the Allan Gray website by clicking the padlock icon next to the website address.
We discourage the use of paper-based forms. Historically, fraudsters have created fake forms where they replace the Allan Gray bank account details with their own. If you need to use a form, always download the latest version directly from the Allan Gray website.
Add money securely
When adding money to your investment, opt for electronic collection as your payment method. If you prefer paying via EFT, rather make use of the pre-approved beneficiary for Allan Gray on your banking app where possible.
Historically, scammers impersonating financial advisers and Allan Gray representatives have provided clients with their own bank account details to trick clients into paying them instead of Allan Gray. Sometimes, these fraudsters may even tell investors not to use the Allan Gray bank details, providing the excuse that the bank service is currently out of order.
Enable two-factor authentication on AGO
Once enabled, you will receive an OTP to your mobile number or email address that you will need to enter in addition to your normal password when you log in. Follow these steps to enable this functionality:
- Log in to your secure AGO account
- Select your name on the top right-hand side
- Select the “Username and Password” section
- Select the option “Receive login notifications via SMS/Email”
- Click “Update”
It is also a good idea to set up two-factor authentication for any other online profile where you are required to enter a password, such as your email or an online shopping profile. This will add an additional layer of security to your mailbox and online accounts, further preventing hackers from intercepting your emails or accessing your sensitive personal information.
Defend your devices against hackers
Regularly upgrade your anti-virus and security software
Ensure that you install the latest security upgrades to your device’s operating system, applications and browser. Use reputable anti-virus software and anti-spyware and ensure that you update it on a daily or at least weekly basis. Install a personal firewall that restricts external devices from accessing your device.
Protect your devices and passwords
Never save your password when prompted by your browser, write your password down or store it in a password vault. Restrict access to your device and log out when you have finished using AGO.
Protect yourself from phishing
Validate emails from Allan Gray carefully
In the past, fraudsters have sent communications that look like legitimate Allan Gray messages. Here are some signs that indicate that a message is phishing for your information:
- Sent to undisclosed recipients and is impersonal
- Includes spelling or grammatical errors
- Contains a link to a website address that does not match that of Allan Gray (https://www.allangray.co.za/) requesting you to urgently update sensitive information
- The sender’s email address does not match the Allan Gray email domain, “@allangray.co.za”
Fraudsters have been known to spoof our email addresses, so that the sender appears to be Allan Gray. However, when hovering over the email address, a foreign or unknown domain is displayed.
Use formal Allan Gray communication channels
Contact us on 0860 000 654, firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the webchat function on our website to speak to a consultant. We do not officially communicate on platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. When in doubt, contact the Client Service Centre before transacting.
Guard your personal information
Create strong email and AGO passwords
Set passwords that are at least 10 characters long and use a combination of numbers, symbols and lower and upper case letters. Avoid obvious passwords, e.g. “password1”, and change your password regularly. Simple passwords can be cracked, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack into your email account and intercept messages between you and Allan Gray or your adviser.
Update your personal details
Make sure that you update your email address, mobile number and postal address with Allan Gray as and when these details change. We recommend that you opt for email correspondence instead of post, as email communications are more reliable and significantly reduce the time to deliver important investment-related information.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
Avoid offers that promise high investment returns in a very short space of time
Scammers are known to promise to double or triple investments within a short space of time. As soon as the unsuspecting investor wants to withdraw their money, they experience delays and sometimes have to fork out extra cash to release the funds. Eventually, the scammer blocks contact, and the investor loses their money for good.