Improve card security, prevent fraud


Cape Town - Banks walk a fine line between the efficient processing of card transactions worldwide, while still effectively preventing fraud, according to Trishan Naidoo, head of Investec card fraud prevention.

It is, therefore, important for banks to proactively identify fraud trends, implement new systems and processes and enhance fraud prevention and detection capabilities.

Naidoo offers some guidelines to keep in mind to improve card security and help us prevent fraud:

Keep your PIN safe

Protecting a PIN is the first line of defence against card fraud. Keep your PIN safe and don’t use the same PIN for numerous cards. Never disclose a PIN to any third party.

If you suspect that someone has seen your PIN or if you think your card has been compromised, contact your bank immediately.

Chip and PIN technology has reduced credit card fraud at the point of sale (POS), particularly in retail environments. However, never let your card leave your sight and insist that transactions are processed in front of you.

Be vigilant at ATMs

Be vigilant at ATMs and look out for any skimming devices. Preferably, use ATMs at the bank branches and never a visibly altered ATM, especially when the card slot or PIN pad is out of sync or loose. Before using an ATM, it’s a good idea to do a quick scan to identify anomalies.

In addition, never accept assistance from anybody at an ATM and look out for suspicious behaviour. An example would be if an individual in front of you experiences difficulty with the ATM and then hangs around and offers to assist you with a transaction. If an ATM retains your card, contact your bank immediately to request cancellation.

Pay attention to transaction notifications

Make sure your bank has your correct cellphone number and e-mail address and pay careful attention to, and verify the content of, the SMS and email notifications you receive.

If you receive notification of any transaction you are not aware of or suspect fraudulent activity, Contact your bank immediately. The same applies to lost cards.

Transact safely online

Online shopping is gaining popularity as you can shop at any time from the comfort of your home or office on a variety of local and international websites. Most online stores offer free delivery and exchanges or returns. However, with an increase in online shopping, an increase in fraud attempts becomes inevitable.

To reduce the risk of cyber fraud, use a known device – not internet café's or public computers and be wary of public Wi-Fi. When you enter card details on a website, check the web address and if it is registered for online security programmes, such as Verified by Visa. Never provide your confidential banking information or e-mail passwords on unknown websites.

Even if a website gives you the option and it seems convenient, rather don’t save your card details online.

Protect your e-mail account

Rather don’t use public domain e-mail accounts to send, receive or save confidential banking information.

Never click on links in unsolicited or phishing emails – you could be downloading a virus (malware) onto your device. Fraudsters can then access your e-mail accounts, get your personal information and commit fraud.

To detect possible malware, always ensure you use the latest anti-virus software.

Use security measures for mobile devices

Tablets and smartphones are becoming more sophisticated and, generally, consumers are moving more of their financial data to these devices. Unfortunately, this means that these devices have become high-profile targets for fraudsters.

Make sure you make use of all the preventative measures, including passcodes, biometric solutions such as Touch ID and the ability to wipe the contents of your device remotely if its lost or stolen.

Never post images of a card or personal banking details on any social media platform.

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