While people in South Africa celebrate Black Friday bargains, it’s a good time to remind customers to watch out for Black Friday fraud. Photo: File

DURBAN – While people in South Africa celebrate Black Friday bargains, it’s a good time to remind customers to watch out for Black Friday fraud. 

People have two chances to make themselves vulnerable when taking out cash at an ATM and when taking advantage of Cyber Monday, when card-not-present (CNP) fraud spikes.

"Black Friday and Cyber Monday will probably see record levels of payments fraud this year," said Derick Cluley, country manager for FICO in South Africa. 

He added, "With this in mind, here are some simple ways for shoppers to protect themselves from Black Friday Fraud while splurging on seasonal bargains". 

Take Care at ATMs

If an ATM looks odd, or your card doesn’t enter the machine smoothly, consider going somewhere else for your cash. Never approach an ATM if anyone is lingering nearby and never engage in conversations with others around an ATM. 

If your plastic card is captured inside of an ATM, call your card issuer immediately to report it. Sometimes you may think that your card was captured by the ATM when in reality it was later retrieved by a criminal who staged its capture.

Be Safe Online

If you experience anything odd on a website, look for another place to shop. If you’ve already paid and later become suspicious that you may have been tricked, inform your bank.

Rather than click on a link in an email or SMS, go to the site itself. Hackers can even spoof websites, so make sure you’re shopping on the actual site.

If you’re setting up a new account with a website, use a strong password you haven’t used before.

Check your Purchases

Check your card transactions frequently, using online banking and your monthly statement.

Work with Your Card Issuer

Ask your card issuer for a new card number if you suspect that your payment card may have been compromised. It’s important to change both your card number and your PIN whenever you experience a potential theft of your personal information.

Ask your card provider if they offer account alert technology that will deliver SMS text communications or emails to you in the event that fraudulent activity is suspected on your payment card.

Watch Out for Social Engineering

If you get a call from someone who says they’re from your bank, and you feel suspicious, hang up and call your bank directly. Your bank will never ask you for your password.