South African call centres allegedly sold credit card details

The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit has arrested two call centre operators for allegedly selling customer’s card information.

In a statement, the Hawks said that the two suspects between 23 and 29 years old and were employed as call centre agents for a reputable financial service credit provider in Goodwood (Cape Town).

“It is alleged that the duo supplied card holder’s information to a syndicate,” the Hawks said.

“Subsequently, counterfeit cards were allegedly manufactured by the syndicate and used for illegal purchases.”

A loss of over R95,000 was incurred across eight card holders during period between 1 March and 9 April 2019.

“These two call centre agents allegedly gained access to card holder’s information whilst performing their duties of dealing with customer’s queries and requests.”

According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre’s (Sabric’s) latest card fraud statistics, debit and credit card accounted for R342.2 million and R436.7 million being stolen in 2017 respectively.

One of the biggest contributors is counterfeit card fraud, which led to R83.6 million being stolen in 2017, the group said.

Counterfeit card fraud is perpetrated with a card that has been illegally manufactured using information stolen from the magnetic strip of a genuinely issued card.

“In some instances, lost, stolen and old cards are re-encoded with information stolen from a genuine card for purposes of committing counterfeit card fraud,” Sabric said.

“The information needed for counterfeit card fraud is usually stolen through card skimming.”

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South African call centres allegedly sold credit card details