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Don't be a victim of card fraud this festive

When it comes to the use of your banking card, it is important not to lose sight of basic safety and security measures. All banking platforms require vigilance for your own protection.

The truth is, bank fraud, and card fraud in particular, is just as much of a concern in today’s world. Do not allow yourself to become a victim of card fraud. Here we explore some of the most common means of card fraud and how to avoid becoming a victim, particularly during this festive break when fraudsters tend to act most.


Card skimming

Is the use of a device specifically made for fraudulently obtaining the customer’s bank details, the device is stored in the magnetic strip on the back of the bank card (usually black or brown in colour).

This information is later used to produce counterfeit (duplicate) cards that are then used by criminals to undertake fraudulent transactions on the victim’s account. This is referred to as card cloning.

Devices used come in different sizes and shapes and can be used on both Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) devices. Therefore, it is important that customers never let their cards out of sight, whether swiping at a restaurant, in a shop, or even withdrawing at an ATM. Make sure you are alert when using your card, check the receipts, and frequently examine your bank statements for unusual activity.


Card swapping:

Can occur when criminals distract you while you are transacting at an ATM, claiming to be assisting you, or even paying a little too much attention when you input your Personal Identification Number (PIN). They then swap your card, this is done so quickly that very often you are unaware that you no longer have your own card.

This is common during the holidays and on busy days as people tend to panic and are easily distracted. You’re often in such a big rush, you won’t realise what has happened until it is far too late. Stay alert at all times, and do not let your card out of sight. Inform your bank and the authorities as soon as you suspect foul play, and stay clear of using the ATM when you see suspicious persons loitering around.


Card trapping:

 Card trapping is when criminals trap cards in the ATMs’ card reader, giving customers the impression that the machine has swallowed their cards. They do this so that they can watch you key in your PIN from a distance or offer you the use of a cell phone to cancel your card.

They then dial an accomplice who claims to be a bank official

and pretends to cancel your card on the telephone and asks you for your PIN. It is incredibly important to note that you should under no circumstances ever share your PIN. No bank or official would need your PIN to assist you even in the case of a genuine problem.

These above are the common means of undertaking card fraud and are often experienced during the Christmas season, as shoppers, none the wiser, go about their busy days. In order to save yourself the heartache and inconvenience of being a victim of fraud, it is advisable to educate yourself on preventative security measures ahead of time.

After all, why be forced to deal with fraud divisions and authorities during the holiday season when you can avoid it?


Tips for ATM card security

We all know that the Festive period, though a period for fun and relaxation, is also one of heightened financial crime. We let our guard down, caught up in the merriment of the season, and fraudsters unfortunately choose to strike.

- Inspect the ATM for anything suspicious before inserting your card, reporting any unusual activities around an ATM to the bank.

- Do not share your Personal Identification Number (PIN) with anyone.

- When it comes to your debit or credit card, report all lost or stolen cards immediately to your bank.

- Do not share your PIN or your card for use without your presence and do not leave your card (or indeed your chequebook) unattended.

- If you are planning to use your card out of the country, inform the bank (Customer Care Centre) and advise them of your travel dates.

- Guard against ‘SIM Swap.’ Protect your cell phone and personal information at all times, including from any unwarranted use.

- Report your SIM to have it blocked should you feel anything suspicious has transpired, and alert your bank of the potential risk.

- Register for SMS alerts or ‘MyUpdates’ which will assist in instantly making you aware of all transactions taking place in your accounts.

- Monitor your spend online, and ensure you log out of any websites where your account or banking details are being used, e.g. after Amazon purchases. Be on the lookout for any unusual activity.

- Do not use open or public Wi-Fi networks to log into your mobile or Internet banking.

This is a consumer education piece from Stanbic Bank Botswana




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