How To ... Protect your card

2013-10-27 14:00

When you leave home, you make sure your home is locked. The same applies to your car. But how much care do you take to protect your bank card – a single access point to your money? Neesa Moodley-Isaacs reports

»?Register with your bank for real-time notifications of transactions on your account.

»?If you use a credit or debit card to shop online, only provide your card information to reputable companies and for single purchases.

»?Check that any online site you use is secure. This will be indicated by a padlock in the bottom right-hand corner of the browser.

»?Don’t let your card out of your sight for any point-of-sale or other card-based purchase.

»?Review your account statements regularly and immediately query any disputed transactions with your bank.

»?Ensure you get your card back after every purchase.

»?Never write down your PIN or disclose it.

»?Report lost and stolen cards immediately.

»?Destroy your credit card receipts before discarding them.

»?Do not send emails that quote your card number and expiry date.

»?Upgrade your cards to EMV-enabled cards as most point-of-sale devices in South Africa are EMV enabled, which will help protect you from card skimming.

»?Sign the back of your card.

»?Never assume an ATM or self-service terminal has retained your card. Always call your bank to confirm and request the card to be blocked immediately. Do not wait until you get home or back to the office. A skimmed card can be replicated in minutes and used immediately.

»?Do not believe hoaxes. For example, entering your PIN backwards at an ATM will not notify the police you need help. These scams are designed to get you to divulge your PIN.

»?Avoid using ATMs in secluded areas.

»?If you feel unsafe at an ATM, return later or use another machine.

»?Only enter your PIN when the ATM screen instructs you to.

»?Stand close to the ATM and block the view with your hand.

»?Never write the PIN on the card.

»?Always check that you get your card back from the machine.

»?Don’t count your cash at the ATM.


At shops or restaurants, where you opt to pay using your card, the person who is handling your transaction should:

»?Hold the card where you can see it until the transaction is completed;

»?Ensure the card-security features are present;

»?Compare your signature on the card to that on the sales voucher;

»?Phone for authorisation, if requested; and

»?Only make an imprint of the card in the case of a manual transaction.


If you suspect fraudulent activity on your bank card, you should immediately call your bank.

»?Nedbank fraud desk 011 710 4710; contact centre 0860 555 111

»?Absa fraud hotline 0860 557 557

»?FNB credit card fraud 087 575 1188; debit card fraud 087 575 9444; card cancellations call centre 087 575 9406

»?Standard Bank 0861 201 000

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