|Tips and ideas to look after your money: How to
deal with identity document theft, and what your rights are in
Hints and tips for Cash and
Credit and Lease Agreements:
Investments and long term
Short term or household/ car insurance Identity
Hints and tips for Cash and ATMS:
- Never use your date of birth as a pin number for an ATM
card. If a thief gets your card and ID book, or driver's license
he will have your pin number too.
- Mark your bank card with a bright nail varnish or permanent
marker. That way when you retrieve your card from a ATM you can
see at a glance that it is yours.
- Always write " not transferable" on your cheque and the full
details of the payee i.e. their full names. This makes it harder
to steal the cheque. Cross it as well.
- Where possible try and transfer money into bank accounts
rather than using a cheque or cash to pay accounts.
- Money management is simple- spend less than you earn.
- Do not throw your slip away at the ATM. Crooks obtain your
account number from this. Try to have a pin number for your ATM
and a different pin number for internet use.
- Banking adjudicator is available at 011 838 0035 or email at
Hints and tips for Credit:
and lease agreement
- Credit agreements in South Africa: you have five days
to cancel the credit agreement, but the goods must be returned
in good order.
Hints and tips for
Investments and Insurance:
- Always check commissions- negotiate them down.
- The practice of ongoing management fees should only happen
if you are being managed. Most brokers get a fee which is
ongoing for no work. Ask your broker what he or she is doing for
your money and decide if you need them. Most unit trust
companies will deal directly with the consumer with normal
management fees only applicable.
- Check out investments with the financial services board.
Tel 012 428 8000 or email
- website address is
- A broker must be registered, but that does not mean much.
Many financial advisors have done short courses on a product and
have no economic training. Question them. If they do not
have a working knowledge of international and local economics-
then do not pay for advice- it is worthless.
- Commissions can erode away at your investment- question
these and negotiate.
- Many scams are pulled that look impressive- ask yourself
what you must do for the return, no one gets rich with no work.
Question the market- selling to friends and family maybe a
sufficient market for wealth if you are rich or have a big
family. Is there a product to sell and a market that needs
- Network marketing often means you buy a product with a
company at an inflated cost.
2002:Sharegro gave disappointing returns over a five year period.
They also ignored my phone calls to stop trading the shares
The charges were high and a 15000 Rand investment made 6000 in
five years. The sales pitch when we bought boasted that they had
never returned under 25% per annum. Our advice do not trust
the salesmen unless they put the claims in writing.
Outsurance: We have had two reports of nasty learning experiences
by the taped method of reporting a loss. Remember the
insurance companies tape for their benefit not yours, so say as
little as possible. Should you have a problem and the outcome
is a court action do check where you agreed to join the insurance
One of our members put in a legal case against Outsurance, only
to find the summons needed to be served to in Pretoria,
where Outsurance had joined him via the phone. His lawyer, Nadia at
Wright Rose and Innes in Germiston was unable to serve the summons
on Outsurance. because it was outside the area jurisdiction By this
time 10 months from date of claim had lapsed and the member was down
a further sum of money., time and nervous irritation. The correct
advice would have been to get a Pretoria based firm to handle
the case from the outset. this would also have been easier for the
member who was now based in Midrand. To serve a summons on an
outside area can cost upwards of R2000.
On Liberty daily news letter on the 3rd September it was
* Outsurance doubles earnings.
With its model of dealing directly with customers and by passing the
15% commission to intermediaries paying off, FirstRand`s short-term
insurance subsidiary, Outsurance, has reported headline earnings
increasing 147% to R102.7m for the year ending June 2003, reports
E-Briefs. Gross premiums surpassed the R1bn mark with the
underwriting result doubled to R61.7m, however, the efficiency ratio
- based on expenditure as a percentage of net premium income -
declined from 31.8% to 24.8%. And the claims ratio
- a measure of claims as a percentage of net premium income,
although increasing 3% to 57%, is still below the industry average.
Outsurance CEO, Willem Roos said the company also paid R11.2m in
Outbonuses to clients and commenced insurance cover for small and
medium sized businesses.
Hints and tips for short
term or household insurance:
- No claim bonuses are often a selling phase. Be careful of
companies offering substantial sums of money back, this can mean
they will cut costs on claims.
- Find out where the insurance company is phoning from. A
member found that he had joined Outsurance in a Pretoria based
office, although he was resident in Johannesburg area and
thought he was phoning a local number. Try to join a company in
your area- it makes it easier if you need to phone or serve a
- When dealing with insurers try not to use a phone call
method to report the loss. Tell them you wish to make a written
statement and submit this via email or fax keeping a copy of
everything for your records. If the company does not want
written reports find a new insurer. Insurance companies such as
Outsurance use only recorded calls and this can mean. you have
no record in the event of a dispute of what was said.
- When shopping for insurance go and speak to as many people
as possible. Cheap insurance can often cost a fortune. A good
idea is to approach windscreen replacement companies and panel
beaters, ask which companies they will not do business with,
avoid those companies.
- If your car is stolen you may suffer additional loss, read
the fine print of your policy. Some insurers charge a
premium if a approved antitheft device is not fitted.
- Tyres are often used as an excuse not to pay out after an
accident, ensure your tread is good and tyre pressure checked
regularly. Insurers often will pay pro rata when replacing a
tyre- Question this if a tyre must be replaced. Make sure you
know how much your tyre will cost if the panel beaters replace
it. Reports of a R250 tyre costing R1000 have been received by
- Electricity could cost you dear. Many insurances such as AA
state that appliances must be fitted with an approved antisurge
plug. There are in line plugs which an electrician can fit onto
your incoming municipal earth and neutral lines. These will cost
around R80 to R100 at an electrical wholesaler.
- Review your insurance needs each year, do not be scared to
change policies, companies and ask questions.
- Keep all records of car services and spares bought. In the
event of a claim these can be used to prove the car was in good
condition. Try and keep all receipts of big buy items such as
TVs and hifis after the guarantee has expired as proof of
ownership and purchase. Photographs also bear good witness to
ownership. Recording model numbers is an excellent idea.
- Insurers will often refuse to entertain a claim without
forced entry. Make sure you lock your doors.
- The Ombudsman is contactable at 011 726 8900 or fax 726
5501. You will have a minimum of a three month wait for his
Identity fraud- what to do if you ID
the SA Fraud Prevention Service (www.safps.org.za)
and the fraud division of the major credit bureaus. Tell them to
put a fraud alert in your file and that creditors must be
instructed to call you before opening or changing account. Order
copies of your credit reports from the credit bureaus. .
these reports carefully and report any strange accounts
immediately. Do this by speaking to someone in the security or
fraud division and always follow this up with a letter,
retaining proof of postage/faxing/ emailing.
accounts that have been tampered with and open new ones with
Personal Identification Codes and passwords remember to use
something only you can know, not birthdates or the last four
digits of your phone number, or your maiden name.
your identity theft to a police station and get proof of this.
Case numbers and a copy of the police report, this way you can
prove your loss if neccessary.