Scenes from October last year when police officers were on the hunt for suspects following an attempted cash-in-transit heist. | Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)
Scenes from October last year when police officers were on the hunt for suspects following an attempted cash-in-transit heist. | Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)

Digital banking and debit card fraud on the increase

By Anelisa Kubheka Time of article published Sep 30, 2021

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DURBAN - DIGITAL banking fraud has increased 33%, debit card fraud has risen 22% and credit card fraud is down by 7%.

This was according to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), which on Wednesday released its annual crime statistics for last year on behalf of the banking industry.

“Your personal data, when combined with technology, has become the new key to the safe that holds your money in a bank, so you must safeguard your data to prevent criminals from getting access to your safe,” said Sabric chief executive Nischal Mewalall.

He said that overall the centre registered an increase in banking crime incidents and added that Covid-19, in conjunction with the implementation of regulations of the Disaster Management Act, had had a notable influence on financial crime trends in 2020.

According to Mewalall, with the pandemic, customers had turned to online shopping and settling payments on apps, while criminals stepped up their efforts to phish customers and steal their personal data to defraud them on digital and online platforms.

The stats also showed that ATM attacks had decreased 9% overall, while ATM explosive incidents had increased by 20%.

There was also a 22% decrease in related losses regarding ATM attacks.

Sabric said that through analysis it was determined that suspects made use of more explosives or multiple explosions to breach safes.

Mewalall said that contact crime was impacted by the restriction of movement and visible policing, resulting in a decrease in incidents.

“Associated robberies saw a decrease of 24% in 2020 as compared to 2019, with decreases evident in the Free State, the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga. Cash-in-transit (CIT) robberies decreased significantly due to the Level 5 lockdown in April and May of 2020, but once restrictions were lifted, these increased again by 22% as criminals moved with fear of roadblocks and searches.”

According to the stats, robberies and burglaries also increased by 42% and 12% respectively.

Mewalall warned that looking ahead, cybercrime and data breaches would represent a significant threat to customers and banks.

Daily News

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