Three types of credit card fraud – and how to protect yourself

17/04/2018

There are three types of bank card fraud that you need to be aware of:

  • Stolen card
  • Counterfeit
  • Card not present

Read this blog post to familiarise yourself with these scams and know how to protect yourself.

Stolen card fraud

Criminals steal genuine bank cards together with the correct Pin numbers and then use these cards immediately at the nearest ATM to withdraw cash followed by purchases at stores until the account is either empty or the is card stopped.

Counterfeit card fraud

Criminals get hold of your card information using skimming devices that read and store card data on the magnetic strip. Hand held skimming devices are quite small and are not easily detectible. ATM skimming devices are fixed onto the machines and are even more difficult to see.

These counterfeit cards can only be used at an ATM if the correct pin is also used. Criminals view your pin by ‘shoulder surfing’- they simply stand next to you and watch as you fill out a form, enter a Pin number at an ATM machine, or use a calling card at a public pay phone.

Card-not-present fraud

This type of fraud can range from the actual physical theft of data off a genuine card to large scale data breaches usually carried out by syndicates.

Tips for card holders

  • Review your account statements on a regular and timely basis; query any suspicious or unfamiliar 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 and always ask that the credit card machine is swiped in front of you.
  • Never write down your Pin or disclose it to anyone.
  • Report lost and stolen cards immediately to your bank.
  • Destroy your credit card receipts before discarding them.
  • Sign your card on the back signature panel as soon as you receive it to stop anyone else from taking ownership or trying to use it.
  • Don’t allow anyone to use your card, your credit/debit card is not transferable. Only the person to whom the card was issued is authorised to use it.
  • If you have a debit, cheque and credit card, don’t choose the same Pin for all of them, so that if your Pin is compromised on one card, the others will still be safe.
  • Always check transaction slips for correct purchase amounts before you sign them.
  • Keep your transaction slips and check them against your statement to spot any suspicious transactions and query them immediately.
  • Make a list of all your cards and their numbers and store it in a safe place.
  • 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 an ATM retain your card, contact your bank and block your card before you leave the ATM.
  • Subscribe to your bank's SMS notification services; this will inform you of any transactional activity on your account.
  • Save your bank’s phone number on your phone for easy access in case of emergency.
  • Do not use an easy Pin number and avoid obvious choices like birth dates and first names.

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About African Bank

Our mission is to be a successful Retail Bank offering a wide range of products and services to the consumers of South Africa. The people who work for African Bank represent the diverse population of South Africa; therefore we are a reflection of you, of all South Africans. We seek to provide value - more than our consumers expect of us. We promise to live our purpose 'humanity through banking' in all that we do and we are confident that we can, because 'We are You'.