How to avoid credit card fraud

While chip-and-PIN security makes it difficult for criminals to use stolen credit cards, thieves can still find ways to access card information.

If criminals get hold of your card and PIN in South Africa, you can expect money to disappear.

In countries like the United States, however, where chip technology is not widely adopted, fraudsters can clone the magnetic stripe on your card and use it to pay for goods.

A type of card fraud that has grown substantially in SA and which negates the chip protection is “card not present” fraud.

This is when a fraudulent transaction takes place and neither the card nor cardholder are present – such as during an online or telephonic purchase.

“CNP fraud is generally concluded with fraudulently-obtained card data and personal information,” stated Sabric.

To avoid becoming a victim of fraud, the head of FNB’s credit card fraud division, Senzo Nsibande, said consumers must remain vigilant.

Nsibande offered the following safety tips for card users:

  • Review your account statements on a regular basis.
  • Query disputed transactions with your bank.
  • Do not send emails that quote your card number and expiry date.
  • Ensure you get your card back after every purchase.
  • Never write down your PIN.
  • Never let your card out of your sight when making payments.
  • Only the person whose name appears on the front of the card is authorised to use it.
  • If you have debit, cheque, and credit cards, don’t choose the same PIN for all of them.
  • Always ensure the amount reflecting on the Point of Sale device is correct.
  • Keep your transaction slips and check them against your statement.
  • Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM.
  • Use one hand to shield your PIN input.
  • Should your card be retained by an ATM, contact your bank and block your card immediately.
  • You can temporarily block and unblock your cards using the FNB Banking App.
  • Store your bank’s Call Centre number on your cellphone.
  • Subscribe to your bank’s SMS notification service.

Now read: Use your contactless bank card to ride the Gautrain

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How to avoid credit card fraud