Huge South African credit card leak – what happened

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said it is aware of the massive card fraud that recently took place in Japan.

This followed a statement by Standard Bank, saying it was the victim of a sophisticated, coordinated fraud incident.

“This involved the withdrawal of cash using a small number of fictitious cards at various ATMs in Japan,” said Standard Bank’s Ross Linstrom.

“The target of the fraud has been Standard Bank and there has been no financial loss for customers.”

Standard Bank said it has taken action to contain the matter, and the gross loss to the bank is estimated at R300 million.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the investigation, it is understandable that the bank is not in a position to make any other information available at this stage”, said Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay.

“From reports already released, it is evident that it is an incident of transnational organised crime that was well planned and executed.”

“The South African banking industry will provide support to both the bank and law enforcement where possible.”

How it happened

The Japanese news publication Mianichi reported that 1.4 billion yen (R199 million) was stolen from 1,400 ATMs in convenience stores in Japan in the space of a few hours on 15 May.

The ATM transaction data “suggests that information from 1,600 credit cards issued by a South African bank was used”.

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that “each transaction involved the removal of ¥100,000, the maximum withdrawal limit set for ATMs, and there were more than 14,000 transactions in the case”.

“Police suspect that a group of more than 100 people extracted the money from the ATMs, which were located in Tokyo and 16 prefectures,” stated the report.

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Huge South African credit card leak – what happened