Following a case recently reported by Bizcommunity on the 16th of March 2017, where an applicant lodged an application to have a sale of property cancelled based on the fact that her identity had been stolen.

The applicant alleges that the person who stole her identity sold her property to a third party. The third has subsequently registered the property in his own name has moved into the property claiming that they acquired the property from the rightful owner as proof of ownership was produced by the seller before acquisition of such property. The applicant insists that she had never intended to sell the property and that this is a case of identity theft. This matter is still pending at the High Court in Pretoria.


It may come as a surprise that this is even possible taking into accounts how many hoops one has to jump through to get a housing loan and subsequently have the property registered in their name at the deeds registration office. The sad reality is that no one is immune from identity theft and this is the reason why we thought we might highlight a few precautionary measures to be taken to avoid same.

According to the South African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) the following tips may assist you from becoming a victim of identity fraud:

  • Shred all documents that contain your personal information and do not throw anything away that someone else could use to impersonate you;
  • Always remain attentive at ATM’s and ensure that no one is attempting to gain access to your pin;
  • Never respond to an email or sms that asks you to insert or update your personal banking details by clicking on a website link, rather  copy and paste the link to your internet browser , as this will enable you  to determine whether you are accessing  an authentic website or not ;
  • Be very selective with the type of information you share on social media and make use of the privacy settings and ;
  • Only carry identification documentation such as your passport or identity book when it’s absolutely necessary and keep these documents safely locked away.

In the event that you have been a victim, SAFPS suggests the following steps:

  1. If you receive a call or sms from a bank or any other credit provider  about a credit that you have applied for investigate same immediately (this can be as simple as calling the said bank or credit provider to get further information)
  2. The victim will be required to prove his innocence to the credit provider by producing the necessary information, evidence and personal documents to prove true identity.
  3. The victim needs to report the matter to the SAPS and open a case of identity fraud and report the matter to all the relevant companies
  4. SAFPS offers identity protection services , an individual needs to request a Protective Registration Application form fill it in and send it back to SAFPS will the letter from the company where he was impersonated.
  5. The SAFPS will process the application. The victim’s ID number will be stored on the SAFPS database to alert companies that the individual has been a victim of identity fraud ,so they can take extra precautions to ensure that they are dealing with the right person


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