Card fraud remains a rising risk for consumers, more so to senior consumers therefore, the need to remain vigilant when using or managing your bank card remains key to protecting yourself. Photo: Shutterstock
Card fraud remains a rising risk for consumers, more so to senior consumers therefore, the need to remain vigilant when using or managing your bank card remains key to protecting yourself. Photo: Shutterstock

What senior citizens can do to keep their money safe from card fraud

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 14, 2021

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Card fraud remains a rising risk for consumers especially the elderly, therefore consumers need to be vigilant when using or managing their bank card.

Managing money is a collective effort between the customer and the bank. However criminals predominantly target customers when attempting to defraud. Often, the victims are senior customers who either welcome unsolicited help or those who are unfortunately unaware of these modus operandi.

“Bank cards have many security features which are designed to minimise fraud while improving convenience, but card safety is a two-way street that requires consumers to exercise caution to avoid falling victim to fraudulent activities”, says Trish Ramdhani, head of fraud at FNB’s card division.

Ramdhani advises senior citizens to always remember the following basics of card safety when banking:

Take note of card safety measures recommended by your bank

It is always best to follow your bank’s recommendations on card safety, in addition to conventional ways of safekeeping your valuables. Do not listen to anyone who suggests using reckless measures that could damage the quality and functionality of your card. Bank cards are designed to perform specific tasks and contain a lot of security detail which may not be visible to the naked eye, therefore tampering with it could cause irreparable damage.

Do not keep your card together with your PIN

This is one of the golden rules of card safety, but it is often ignored. Memorise your PIN instead of writing it on a piece of paper or saving it on your phone.

Do not disclose sensitive information to anyone pretending to be calling from the bank

People claiming to be phoning from the bank might not actually be from the bank. Fraudsters might contact you pretending to be phoning from a bank’s fraud department to assist you with a fraudulent transaction or debit order. It is important to remember that your bank will never ask you for your one-time-pin (OTP) or confidential information such as your banking password. When in doubt terminate the call and contact your bank or report fraud and cancel your cards immediately.

Immediately report stolen and/or lost cards

Customers can phone the contact centre or visit their nearest branch to report stolen cards as well as fraudulent card activity.

Take advantage of contactless payments

The introduction of new payment technologies such as contactless payments give consumers far more control over their bank cards, meaning you don’t have to part ways with your card when making payments at merchants that accept contactless payments.

Be vigilant when purchasing online

When buying goods and services online, it is important to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable service provider before sharing your card details. Do not simply click on the first link you come across; rather type the web address of the service provider you intend to use.

Beware of phishing, tricksters, and mimics

Scammers often pretend to be someone you may trust, like a banking official, an insurance agent or even a job provider. They may try to persuade you to reveal sensitive information like an OTP or login credentials. Don’t give out any card details, email addresses and other personal details to unknown persons. Avoid responding to such texts, phone calls, or emails.

PERSONAL FINANCE

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