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According to the SABRIC (2017) report, the banking industry’s gross fraud losses due to South African (SA) issued credit card fraud increased by 1,0% from R434.0m in 2016 to R436.7m in 2017.

46,6% of all credit card fraud losses occurred in South Africa and the provinces mostly affected by card fraud are Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Fraud due to 'Card Not Present' increased. (Source: Sabric report 2015)

The following tips have been obtained from the SABRIC 2015 report

What is 'Card Not Present' card fraud (CNP)?

Card Not Present (CNP) fraud is a fraudulent transaction where neither the card nor the cardholder is present whilst conducting the transactions.

These transactions can be conducted under the following circumstances:

  • orders for goods placed telephonically;
  • purchases conducted via the internet;
  • by mail order or fax;
  • when retailers are unable to check the card or the identity of the cardholder.

The highest CNP credit and debit card fraud gross fraud losses related to were linked to travel-related purchases. CNP fraud is generally concluded with fraudulently obtained card data and personal information and sourced by various means such as discarded receipts, previous CNP purchases and phishing.

What about Counterfeit card fraud?

Counterfeit card fraud is perpetrated with a card that has been illegally manufactured using information stolen from the magnetic strip of a genuinely issued card.

In some instances Lost and/or Stolen cards and/or old cards are re-encoded with information stolen from a genuine card for purposes of committing counterfeit card fraud. The information needed for a counterfeit card is usually stolen through card skimming.

What is Card skimming?

Card skimming involves the illegal copying of encoded information from the magnetic strip of a legitimate card by means of a card reader with the intention to use the data for encoding counterfeit, lost, or stolen cards to transact fraudulently.

Three- or four-digit Card Security Codes on the back of cards (CVV2 or CVC2) can assist but not prevent fraud where the card was stolen or intercepted, or the cardholder willingly supplied the information to a criminal during a specific transaction. Enhanced detection and prevention capabilities are in place: advanced security systems and software such as “3D Secure” is mandated in South Africa.

What can cardholders do to be more aware and help protect themselves?

We know that criminals utilize modus operandi like shoulder surfing, card jamming or swopping in an attempt to overcome mitigating measures implemented by the banking industry.

  • If you think the ATM is faulty, cancel the transaction immediately. Report the fault to your bank and transact at another ATM.
  • Never force your card into a slot as it might have been tampered with.
  • Shield the hand that is typing your PIN number so that nobody can see your PIN number.
  • Be Cautious of strangers offering help as they could be trying to distract you in order to get your card or PIN.
  • If your card is retained, do not leave the ATM before you have cancelled your card by calling your bank’s call centre using your own mobile number.
  • If you have multiple cards, choose different PINs for all of them.
  • Consider changing your PIN as often as possible.
  • Never let the card out of your sight when making payments and if possible insert the card into the Point of Sale device yourself.
  • Before entering your PIN to authorise the transaction, check that the Rand value of the transaction on the screen of the POS device corresponds with the purchase amount. The currency MUST be reflected in Rands. If not, stop the transaction and contact your bank immediately.
  • On completion of a Point Of Sale (POS) transaction, ensure that the card returned is the original card presented.
  • Refrain from any assistance offered when transacting at the ATM, even from security guard or a bank official. Go inside the bank for help.
  • If you are disturbed or interfered with whilst transacting at the ATM, your card could be skimmed. Cancel the transaction and immediately report the incident using your Bank’s Stop Card Toll-free number on the ATM or on the back of your bank card.
  • When shopping online, orders should be placed with card on a secure website, and emails that quote card number and expiry date should not be sent.
  • Review your monthly bank statements for unauthorised transactions.


Information in this article was taken from the SABRIC (2015) report. Web: www.sabric.co.za


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