Beware credit card skimming scams

2007-12-15 00:00

Christmas is the season to be scammed according to banking gurus. They warn shoppers not to let credit cards out of their sight in case the confidential data on the magnetic stripes gets "skimmed" by fraudsters who then charge massive purchases to these cards.

Skimming involves copying confidential data using a device small enough to fit into the palm of your hand or into retailers’ legitimate processing machines. One swipe of a card and all the information stored on the magnetic stripe on the back is stored for sale to fraud syndicates.

Last year skimming fraudsters did card holders out of millions of rands.

Skimming will be brought under control only once new card technologies take hold in South Africa. EMV chip cards were introduced in Britain in 2004 and credit card fraud fell by almost a quarter the next year.

Absa began a slow roll-out in March. South Africa’s other major banks are following, but are not as keen to provide details

The roll-out is expected to cost the national banking sector about R1 billion, but it is not clear how long it will take to replace existing credit cards.

Walter Volker, general manager of Absa Group payment systems, says the roll-out could take between three and four years.

The new cards come with an embedded computer chip which stores information in a way that is virtually impossible to access and copy. Encryption technology authenticates the card.

The new card is inserted into a card slot held by the retailer. It stays there for the duration of a transaction. The card holder uses a PIN in much the same way as with a debit card

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.