The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), on behalf of the banking industry, has released its Card Fraud Stats for 2017, which reflect an overall decrease in card fraud. Debit card fraud decreased by 8.5% while credit card fraud increased by 1%, from R434 million in 2016 to R436.7m in 2017.
Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay says that the decrease seen in debit card fraud is due to a reduction in lost and/or stolen and counterfeit card fraud. “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.”
Lost and/or stolen credit card fraud saw 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.
Last year also saw a significant decrease in counterfeit card fraud, continuing the trend for 2016. Counterfeit debit card fraud saw a decrease of 32.2%, with losses of R65.3m, while counterfeit credit card fraud decreased by 23.2%, with losses of R83.6m. These decreases can be attributed to the robust mitigation strategies implemented by the banks.
Industry statistics indicate that credit card related card-not-present (CNP) fraud is still the leading contributor to gross fraud losses in South Africa, and showed an increase of 7.4% from the previous year, accounting for 72.9% of the losses on SA-issued credit cards. CNP debit card fraud showed a more significant increase of 60.7% due to certain banks allowing online CNP transactions on debit cards.
Pillay stresses that bank clients always be vigilant about protecting their 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.”
Click here to access the Sabric Card Fraud Stats 2017 digital booklet.
Sabric urges you to take the following protective measures to protect yourself:
- Don’t disclose personal information such as passwords and PINs when asked to do so by anyone via telephone, fax or even email.
- Don’t carry unnecessary personal information in your wallet or purse.
- Don’t write down PINs and passwords, and avoid obvious choices like birth dates and first names.
- Don't use any personal identifiable information as a password, user ID or personal identification number (PIN).
- Don’t use internet cafes or unsecure terminals (hotels, conference centers etc.) to do your banking.
- Review your account statements on a timely basis and query disputed transactions with your bank immediately.
- When shopping online, only place orders with your card on secure websites.
- Do not send emails that quote your card number and expiry date.
- Ensure that you get your own card back after every purchase.
- Report lost and stolen cards immediately.
- Destroy your credit card receipts before discarding them.
- Never let the card out of your sight when making payments.
- If you have a debit, cheque and credit card, don’t choose the same PIN for all of them. If you lose one, the others will still be safe.
- Chipped credit cards also require a PIN for transactions at points of sale when paying for goods or services.
- Protect your cards as if they were cash. Never let them out of your sight and ensure that you get them back after every purchase.
- While transacting always keep an eye on the ATM card slot to ensure that your card is not taken out, skimmed and replaced without your knowledge.
- Should your card be retained by an ATM, contact your bank and block your card before you leave the ATM.
- Subscribe to your bank's SMS notification services to inform you of any transactional activity on your account.