By Nico Strydom
Criminals continuously find new ways in which to steal people’s money and card fraud amounts to hundreds of millions of rand per year.
According to the latest statistics from the South African Bank Risk Information Centre (Sabric), the combined gross loss due to card fraud rose by 18% to more than R873 million from 2017 to 2018. Credit card fraud rose with 18.4% and debit card fraud with 17.5%.
“We are concerned about the increases as it clearly shows that criminals will grab every opportunity to steal bank clients’ money,” Kalyani Pillay, executive head of Sabric, said.
Fraud where the bank card or the card holder is not present during the execution of transactions still remains the biggest contributor to large scale fraud losses in the country and made out 79.5% of all losses. This means criminals obtain clients’ bank information in other ways than stealing their cards and then use the information to commit card fraud.
One of the ways in which this is done, is vishing. This occurs when a criminal phones a victim and introduces himself as an official of a bank or a service provider in order to obtain personal information. Phishing is when a victim receives an email that appears to have been sent from a bank or another service provider and requests the victim to click on a link in order to confirm personal information. The victim is then taken to a page that looks like the real thing but is in actual fact a false page that is used to steal information.
Protect yourself against bank card fraud in the following way:
At an ATM
- Be wary of strangers who offer to help as they can try to steal your card or to obtain your PIN.
- If you are disturbed while using an ATM, it can mean that your card has been taken and cloned without your knowledge. Cancel all transactions immediately and report the incident to your bank.
- Don’t use your bank card at an ATM of which the screen appears strange or if it looks as if any components of the ATM have been tampered with.
Phishing and vishing
- Don’t just click on any links in an email and also don’t respond to suspicious emails. Delete these emails immediately.
- If you receive any strange requests, contact your bank to confirm the information.
- When you want to visit your bank on line, type in the URL yourself and make sure you are on the correct website before you start adding your personal information.
- Banks will never ask you to provide confidential information over the phone. If you receive such a call, it is best to end it immediately.
Sabric: https://www.sabric.co.za/media-and-news/press-releases/sabric-annual-crime-stats-2018/ and https://www.sabric.co.za/media-and-news/press-releases/sabric-festive-season-awareness/