ALERT: Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN top list for card fraud


Cape Town – Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are the hot spots for card fraud in South Africa, according to a report on global fraud activity.

South Africa features in the top 10 countries in the latest ACO Global Consumer Fraud Study.

It found that 33% of South Africans have been victims of card fraud, a 3% increase from 2014 to 2016.

The bulk (85.9%) of South African card fraud takes place in the metropoles of Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Staying vigilant

The rise in card fraud serves as a reminder that we need to be cautious and extra vigilant when transacting and withdrawing money at ATMs, cautioned Sore Cloete, senior legal manager at Old Mutual Personal Finance.

“The best safety tip is to remain vigilant at all times. So often we are lost in thought, engaging on our mobile phones or listening to music, and the more distracted we are, the simpler it is for opportunistic thieves to steal from us.”

Sore offered the following steps to avoid becoming a victim:

• Check that nobody is near you when making an ATM transaction
• Try not to use an ATM late at night in a remote area
• Make sure there isn’t anything unusual in the card reader slot of the ATM
• Refuse any help from a stranger unless you have asked for assistance
• Immediately block your card if it is “swallowed” and remains in the machine
• Use a strong password, change it regularly and don’t share it.

With the festive season upon us, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) also cautioned the public about bank crimes.

“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,” said Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay.

She also encouraged people to prioritise the setting of daily withdrawal and transaction limits.

Sabric noted that customers should be cautious when transacting at ATMs and online, adding that digital banking platforms have made transacting much more convenient, but have also created opportunities for criminals to defraud people.

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