Sabric, on behalf of the banking industry, has cautioned the public about bank crimes that could be prevalent this festive season. Picture: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Johannesburg - The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), on behalf of the banking industry, has cautioned the public about bank crimes that could be prevalent this festive season.

Sabric urged bank customers on Tuesday to be aware of the latest crime trends so that they do not become victims. 

Sabric chief executive, Kalyani Pillay, said that lost and stolen card fraud was still on the increase and urged bank customers not to accept any assistance while carrying out transactions at ATMs.

Pillay said by interrupting or interfering with a bank customer while transacting, cards are swopped, stolen or trapped in the ATM, only to be used later by the fraudster. PIN numbers are easily acquired by shoulder surfing, enabling the fraudster to use the card immediately. 

"Criminals are always looking for opportunities to defraud their victims, particularly at this time of year when they know that people are winding down for the holidays, and spending their bonuses," Pillay said in a statement.
 
"Customers must be extremely vigilant when it comes to giving out personal and confidential information."

Pillay said the public must prioritise the setting of daily withdrawals and transaction limits according to their needs. He said not only should customers be cautious when transacting at ATMs, but when online as well. 

Digital banking platforms have made transacting much more convenient, but have also created opportunities for criminals to defraud people. Criminals can use this information to assume a person’s identity, creating opportunities for them to be impersonated and to commit fraud.