Pensioners targeted in bank card fraud

2019-05-02 06:00

IN the review of the first quarter of 2019, the Ombudsman for Banking Services has seen an alarming increase in credit card fraud.

Credit card fraud is theft involving a payment card – either debit or credit – as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The fraudster buys goods or has access to funds using the details of a legitimate credit card holder.

“Credit card fraud related complaints increased from 12,2% at the beginning of January 2019 to an alarming 19,47% as at end March 2019.

“It is of great concern that the elderly are more vulnerable to this kind of banking fraud,” says Reana Steyn, CEO and Ombudsman for Banking Services .

Statistics gathered in March indicate consumers aged between 61-70 make up 21% of the credit card fraud complaints: and those aged between 71-80 26%, while pensioners older than 81 accounted for 11% of the total.

“The types of fraud identified range from vishing, phishing to fraudulent on-line purchasing, and bank reward programmes used to purchase merchandise,” Steyn says.

Scammers obtained credit card information fraudulently and utilised it without consumers realising what was happening or without their consent.

Fraudsters’ modus operandi:

. The fraudster lures a bank customer into believing that they are attempting to reverse transactions which have not yet taken place. They advise the customer that they will send reference numbers to their phones which must be read back for the transactions to be reversed. This is the “One Time Password” which authorises the transaction.

. A customer is led to believe that they are being contacted by a legitimate bank employee regarding existing services. This is how the fraudster gains the client’s trust.

Tips in general:

•Review your account statements regularly; query disputed transactions.

•When shopping online, only place orders with your card on a secure website.

•Do not send e-mails that quote your card number and expiry date.

Prevent “vishing” (telefonical) fraud:

•Never share personal and confidential information with strangers over the phone.

•Banks will never ask you to confirm your confidential information over the phone.

•If you receive an OTP on your phone without having transacted yourself, it is likely that it is a fraudster who has used your personal information. Do not provide the OTP telephonically to anybody. Contact your bank immediately.

Prevent “phishing” (electronical/e-mail) fraud:

•Fraudulent emails are used to obtain the customers’ confidential internet banking access codes and passwords.

•Pay attention to email addresses that may seem genuine, and with what appears to be banking identification.

•Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited emails.

•Do not reply to these emails. Delete them immediately.

•Do not believe the content of unsolicited emails. If you are worried about what is alleged, use your own contact details to contact the sender to confirm.

•Type in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator or domain names) for your bank in the internet browser if you need to access your bank’s webpage.

•If you think your device might have been compromised, contact your bank immediately and request that your account be blocked.

•Create complicated passwords that are not easy to decipher and change them often.

How to complain?

•Lodge a formal, written complaint directly with your bank’s dispute resolution department.

•Ask for a complaint reference number from your bank.

•Allow the bank 20 working days in which to respond to your complaint

•Obtain a written response from your bank and if you are not satisfied with the outcome, please log the complaint with the Ombudsman for Banking Services.

ISSUED: OMBUDSMAN BANKING SERVICES

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