The attraction of unclaimed benefits for cybercriminals was highlighted when the GEPF recently faced a cyberattack, as reported by Nkosinathi Ndlovu of NewsCentral Media. The attack, which occurred on February 16th, 2024, prompted a comprehensive system shutdown, reflecting a growing trend of security breaches within public sector financial institutions.


This incident also raises concern around the proposal by the FSCA and National Treasury's to transfer unclaimed benefits to a centralized fund, a move that could potentially increase the appeal of these assets to hackers.


Given the substantial sums involved, this situation urgently calls for stronger security measures and faster beneficiary tracing and fund distribution to reduce risks. Currently, once a beneficiary is identified, it takes about six months to collect the necessary documentation and process a claim. During this period, these unclaimed assets are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks.


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