Credit-card fraud increases to almost double

Credit card fraud nearly doubled to R403-million in the 2009/10 financial year, a study by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has found.

In the report, released on Tuesday, Sabric said the amount increased from R263.8-million last year as the expanding credit card market gave fraudsters more opportunities for scams.

“Credit card fraud occurred in all the provinces in South Africa although some provinces experienced more card fraud than others,” it said.

“Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape account for 92.3% of the total credit card fraud losses in South Africa — the highest number of skimming devices is also recovered in these provinces.”

Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay said the fraud came as banks were signing up more new customers and were providing products such as credit cards to existing customers who previously did not have access to them.


“The higher volumes of cards in the market provide more opportunities for credit card fraudsters to carry out scams,” she said.

Sabric’s report found that banks had also seen an increase in the number of cash withdrawals at ATMs using counterfeit credit cards.

About 159 handheld skimming devices were retrieved during the year, compared to 190 last year.

Another 38 ATM mounted skimming units were removed this year, compared to 36 in the 2009/10 year.

According to the report, the introduction of a dedicated police team to tackle card-related crime in Gauteng province had a significant positive impact on card fraud in the province.

“Since August 2010 the [South African Police Service] project team jointly with bank investigators and Sars [South African Revenue Service] enforcement unit affected 261 arrests and seized 3 614 exhibits,” it found. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Big retailers need to step up to the plate

To stave off a multi-generational malnutrition crisis, the food industry must work with government to provide highly nutritious foods at cost during the pandemic

Crime stats mark a bitter start to Women’s Month

We must celebrate women’s achievements this month while agitating for structural change, argues Luke Waltham

South Africa prioritises fossil fuels over clean energy in post-Covid-19 recovery packages

The country is among the G20 countries who have invested in electricity produced from coal, oil and gas at the cost of addressing climate change

Challenges and opportunities for telemedicine in Africa

Telemedicine in Africa is currently limited by the availability of basic infrastructure, but, considering the lack of doctors in rural areas, it is a vital component in addressing the continent’s healthcare needs

Fight the disease of corruption in the same way we fight the coronavirus

Gogo Dlamini, Themba Dlamini’s mother, died of Covid-19, but Mzanzi has a chance to rid the country of fraud and exploitation and instead serve ‘Gogo Dlamini’, the people of South Africa

This time it’s different: African economies may not survive

Amid the headwinds created by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s time the Aloe ferox, which survives in dry, harsh conditions, is nurtured — but the options are limited
Advertising

Treasury presents Covid-19 corruption action plan

Reports of corruption, over-pricing and the delivery of sub-standard PPE have become the norm over the past five months as the country grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic

Metro cops, SAPS clash over control

Tensions between the City of Cape Town and the police service over responsibilities mirrors the strain between national and local government
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday