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Give fraudsters the red card in South Africa

May 5, 2010 • Opinion, Security

Carl Clump, CEO ReD (left) (credits: www.businessachievementawards.co.uk)

Having prevented payment card fraud in South Africa for the last decade and with just 38 days before the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa(TM), Carl Clump, CEO of Retail Decisions (ReD), one of the world’s leaders in payment fraud prevention, gives some tips to fans going to South Africa, so that they are not fouled while playing away from home.

Payment card fraud is a global phenomenon. International travelers can be particularly at risk as they find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings. We must expect that fraudsters will go to South Africa and look to prey on the forecasted 480,000 travelers predicted to follow the tournament across the country. Tourists are prime targets as typically they carry cards with high credit limits.

Hot spots for card fraud are likely to be in major cities including, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elisabeth, where many of the fixtures are scheduled. Travelers and merchants must remain alert.

In order to safeguard travelers from fraudsters, ReD advises the fans to follow the following 6 simple suggestions:

1. Before leaving home, travelers should make a note of, or preferably photocopy both sides of the cards they intend taking with them, as well as passports and travel itineraries. These details should then be left in safe keeping with a family member or friend. Of course, do not give your PIN numbers to anyone. Keep a copy of all important phone numbers with you, not in your mobile phone, in case you lose it.

2. Inform your card company of your travel dates and destinations so that suspicious transactions not in keeping with these plans can be identified.

3. On arriving in South Africa, many will want to obtain some local currency. Beware when using ATMs! Beware of “shoulder surfing”, which occurs when somebody is watching you entering your PIN. After obtaining your cash, somebody may bump into you and your cards could be pick-pocketed. Beware of individuals offering to help you at the ATM. Only use ATMs in well lit and populated areas. Be careful when using ATMs in general.

4. If you have access to a safe in your chosen accommodation, use it for all your cards, important documents and valuables. Only go out with enough money, not all your money and only take one card with you.

5. Do not let your card out of sight in restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels or anywhere else you may use them.

6. If you believe something untoward may have happened to your card(s), call your card issuer immediately, even if it is in the middle of the final! On returning home, check your card statement as soon as possible for any unidentifiable transactions.

ReD’s expertise is based upon the 16 billion transactions it screens for fraud across 160 countries each year.

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