Don’t become a victim of bank card fraud

As we move into the digital age, criminals are getting more sophisticated in their fraud scams, says Mr. Alfred Ramosedi, African Bank’s Sales and Marketing Executive.

According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), credit card fraud increased with 13 per cent in 2016.

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Their recent report stated that credit card fraud had increased from R331,4 million in 2015 to R374,4 million in 2016, while debit card fraud increased with 3,1 per cent from R333,2 million to R343,5 million.

The demand for cash is still high as 52 per cent of debit card fraud occurred at ATMs in contrast to credit cards’ 3 per cent.

Although fraud in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 85,9 per cent of all credit card gross fraud losses in the country, many cases have been reported in Malalane and Komatipoort.

It was also found that criminals often used SA-issued credit cards to withdraw money at ATMs in neighbouring countries like Letsotho, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

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There are three types of card fraud. The first is when criminals steal genuine bank cards and pin numbers to withdraw money at an ATM or make purchases at stores until the account is empty or card stopped.

The second is when criminals make a copy of a card or steal card data via skimming and the third is when card data is compromised through physical data theft off a genuine card or a large-scale data breach.

Ramosedi says there is a lot card holders can do to protect their cards and data:

  • Regularly review your account statements and query any suspicious transactions
  • Only give your card information to secure online shopping websites
  • When making card purchases, ensure the card is only swiped where you can see it and that you get your own card back
  • Never write down your pin, give to anyone or use the same pin for multiple cards
  • If your card is lost or stolen, immediately report it to the bank
  • Always check that the amount on your purchase slip is correct before signing it.
  • Sign your card on the back signature panel when you get it to claim ownership
  • Before withdrawing cash, check for signs that the ATM has been tampered with.
  • Sign up for transaction notifications via SMS or your bank’s app as this can alert you to any unauthorized transactions.

Local police also urge community members never to give their pin out to anyone, even a security guard or bank employee at the ATM. If you don’t feel safe at an ATM, rather withdraw money at participating retailers such as Pick ‘n Pay, SPAR and Shoprite.


Corridor Gazette

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