SA credit card fraud overseas rises by 10%

2013-05-06 00:00

WHILE credit card fraud has dropped sharply in South Africa, overseas fraud involving South African credit cards has risen slightly.

The South African Bank Risk Information Centre (Sabric) found that fraud with local credit cards declined by 32% between January and September, compared to the same period in 2011.

Sabric pointed out that the decrease followed a 70% increase between 2010 and 2011.

Sabric warned SA citizens travelling overseas to take care, saying overseas fraud involving South African credit cards had increased by 10%.

Sabric said card holders in Gauteng suffered the most losses at R73,9 million.

The CEO of FNB’s credit card division, Johan Maree, attributed this year’s drop in credit fraud to microchips and pin codes with which all new cards are equipped.

Absa, which measured a drop of 15% in credit card fraud in the festival days of 2013 compared to 2012, also attributed the drop to these changes.

Maree said skimming and cloning posed the biggest card fraud threats to customers.

Skimming is when data thieves draw the card through a device that copies the data on the magnetic strip.

These devices are small enough to clip to a waiter’s belt or be stuck over an ATM’s slot.

Data thieves prefer to use the skimmers at shopping centres and ATMs, where they can also spy on the user’s pin code.

Sabric said the new protection measures had forced credit card fraudsters to adapt their modus operandi, which was why the centre had measured a four percent fraud increase in what it terms “card-not-present” purchases.

The centre said this mostly happened during Internet transactions, as was the case when hackers in April 2011 broke into Sony PlayStation’s database and stole users’ bank details from across the world.

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