Beware of card 'skimming' at tollgates, petrol stations

“Ensure that your card is not copied or swiped a second time and review your statements carefully, paying specific attention to toll fees,” said Bryce Thorrold, Visa’s head of payment risk Africa, in a statement.

The warning was part of a Card Security Week campaign by First National Bank (FNB) and Visa running from November 15 to 21.

“Card skimmers are simple devices which are usually used for security access points. However, when the criminal gets hold of such a skimming device they can use it to ‘steal’ your payment card information on the magnetic strip,'” said Thorrold.

A skimmer can fit into the palm of the hand and can be used by criminals posing as waiters, check-out clerks or shop attendants.

The details on the card’s magnetic strip can be stored on the skimmer with just one swipe of the card, and later downloaded to a computer.

Skimmers can also be installed in card slots at ATMS to later be removed by thieves.

“The stolen card details are then encoded onto a blank card to create a counterfeit card, or simply used to purchase goods or services online,” said Thorrold.

Customers should make sure they can see their card at all times.

“At restaurants, request that the waiter present a mobile terminal or accompany the waiter to the Point-of-Sale (POS) device, so you can witness the transaction taking place.

“When using an ATM, ensure that there isn’t a device attached to the card slot.”

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Beware of card 'skimming' at tollgates, petrol stations