FIle photo: AP Photo/Elise Amendola.
FIle photo: AP Photo/Elise Amendola.

'Credit card fraud up to R436 million in 2017'

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Apr 23, 2018

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Cape Town - Credit card fraud has risen from R434 million in 2016 to R436 700 million last year, according to a SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) report on card fraud statistics.

The report, released on behalf of the banking industry, showed the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 86.3% of all credit card gross-fraud losses in the country, with the rest of the provinces accounting for the remaining 13.8%.

Gauteng has over 50% of the credit card reports, the Western Cape 18.2% and KwaZulu-Natal 13.7%. In the past seven years, credit card fraud in the province rose from R15.4m to R32.4m.

The report on the other hand said there was an overall decrease in card fraud, with debit card fraud declining by 8.5%. Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay said the decrease seen in debit card fraud was due to a reduction in lost and/or stolen and counterfeit card fraud.

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“Criminals are always adjusting their tactics to take advantage of innovations in the banking landscape.

“However, our collaborative model ensures that we, together with our banks and partners, are responsive and agile, enabling these crimes to be addressed efficiently and effectively,” he said.

However, the banking industry’s struggle remains with credit card fraud.

He said lost and/or stolen credit card fraud were on a 44.5% increase and accounted for 5.9% of overall gross-fraud losses in 2017, with 76.1% of fraud occurring in South Africa.

“Criminals mostly stole, swopped or installed card-entrapment devices at ATMs and then shoulder-surfed victims to obtain their PINs,” said Pillay.

The chief executive stressed the importance of protecting personal information.

“Always protect your personal information, and do not under any circumstances share PINs, one-time PINs or any other authentication information with anyone. Your bank will never ask you for these,” he said.

PayPal research revealed that over the years more people were opting for online shopping, although it proved to be less safe than shopping in stores.

According to research, online spending in South Africa was expected to reach R53billion next year - up from R37bn last year.


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