South Africans preparing to go shopping over this year’s Black Friday weekend should be aware of the likely spike in fraud over this period. The warning comes from FICO, a data analytics firm that works with a number of South African banks on their decision management solutions.
“Every year, the increase in shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday draws a rise in both card-present and card-not-present (CNP) fraud. This year, the threat may be greater than ever,” said Derick Cluley of FICO in South Africa. Cluley notes that recent data breaches worldwide have exposed millions more cardholders’ details.
According to South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) statistics, gross losses due to credit card fraud increased by 13% to R374.4 million in 2016, up from R331.4 million recorded in 2015.
Debit card fraud losses in this same period were up by 3.1% from 2015, totalling R343.5 million, in comparison to an R333.2 million-mark the year before.
“Black Friday and Cyber Monday will probably see record levels of card fraud this year,” said TJ Horan, vice president, who oversees FICO’s fraud solutions. “If you’re getting ready to start your holiday shopping, you should expect that criminals are out to get your money, and take a few preventative steps. It pays to keep your eyes open at ATMs, to monitor your purchases at least weekly, and to make sure your card issuer has the right contact information for you.”
While some fraud comes from compromised ATMs, there is also an increase in CNP fraud, which means money is stolen while the card is with its owner. Criminals using cardholders’ details to make online or phone purchases are examples of CNP fraud.
Many South African retailers including Spree, Zando, Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers, Makro and Game, Travelstart and Home Choice have long confirmed their specials for Black Friday, with South African consumers primed to take advantage of discounted offerings from various outlets.
FICO offers these tips for consumers:
- Take care at ATMs
- If an ATM looks odd, or your card doesn’t enter the machine smoothly, consider going somewhere else for your cash.
- Never approach an ATM if anyone is lingering nearby. Never engage in conversations with others around an ATM. Remain in your automobile until other ATM users have left the ATM.
- If your plastic card is captured inside of an ATM, call your card issuer immediately to report it. Sometimes you may think that your card was captured by the ATM when in reality it was later retrieved by a criminal who staged its capture. Either way, you will need to arrange for a replacement card as soon as possible.
- Check your purchases
- Check your card transactions frequently, using online banking and your monthly statement.
- Work with your card issuer
- Ask your card issuer for a new card number if you suspect that your payment card may have been compromised. It’s important to change both your card number and your PIN whenever you experience a potential theft of your personal information.
- Ask your card provider if they offer account alert technology that will deliver SMS text communications or emails to you in the event that fraudulent activity is suspected on your payment card.
- Update your address and cell phone information for every card you have, so that you can be reached if there is ever a critical situation that requires your immediate attention.