Tanya Jacobs fell victim to card skimmers and ended up losing almost R4 000 after her card was used to purchase car parts and to pay for repairs.

Durban - A Durban woman discovered that her credit card had been cloned after it was used to spend almost R4 000 at a vehicle workshop.

Digital strategist and part-time photographer, Tanya Jacobs, was alerted to the transaction after receiving an sms from her bank on Wednesday.

She said she had used her credit card last Wednesday at a South Coast petrol station and a toll plaza.

Jacobs had been travelling from eManzimtoti to Newcastle for a wedding shoot.

“I only used my card at the petrol station and a toll plaza. I believe it may have been cloned during one of these transactions.”

Jacobs did not disclose the name of the service station, toll plaza or vehicle workshop, fearing it could compromise the investigation by her bank.

She said Nedbank had notified her on Wednesday via sms of a R3 974 payment at a vehicle workshop.

“At first I was confused because I had just come back from Makro. But realised I had only spent R190 and had used another bank card.”

She then suspected her credit card may have been cloned.

“I contacted the bank and they told me where the transaction had been made. I contacted the owner and he told me a man had come in to make a total payment of R7 900 for car parts and repairs.”

The man had used another card to pay the balance.

“The company sent me a copy of the receipt. I saw that the signature was not mine. This confirmed my suspicions that my card had been cloned.”

Jacobs said she had not yet reported the matter to police. She planned to do so on Thursday.

Jacobs said she had not noticed any suspicious activity when she used her card last week.

“I always watch where my card is being taken and make sure I can see it at all times.”

The owner of the company where the cloned card was used said: “After he made the purchase, we swiped the card. It was as simple as that.”

He added that he would be viewing CCTV footage to try to identify the man.

He had also not reported the crime to police because “such things happen every day”.

He said he was awaiting the outcome of the bank’s investigation.

“At the moment, all we have are many claims. From my side, I adhered to all the rules.”

Meanwhile the acting chief executive of the SA Banking Risk Information Centre, Susan Potgieter, urged bank card users to exercise caution when making transactions.

“Eight hand-held skimming devices were recovered in KZN from January to September 2013. Five ATM-mounted skimming devices were also recovered for the same period,” she said.

An estimated 1 281 hand-held cloning devices had been confiscated by investigators since 2005 nationally.

She added that users should be vigilant and make sure their card was in sight at all times.

“If you have debit, cheque or credit cards, don’t choose the same PIN for all of them. In the event you lose one of the cards, the others will be safe if the codes are different.

“Also, keep your transaction slips and check them against your statement to spot any suspicious transactions and query them immediately.”

SA National Roads Agency Limited and Nedbank did not responded to questions.

A Nedbank representative said they needed another 24 hours to check if the investigation had been logged on their system.

Tolcon’s marketing and media team were also unavailable.

Daily News