Don’t be a victim of card fraud during the festive season
With the December holidays already in full swing, Bank Windhoek has warned members of the public against card fraud, which normally escalates during this time of the year.
According to Ryan Geyser, senior manager of product channel development and electronic channel processing at the bank, the annual December holiday is a relaxing time for many people, but it is the busiest time for fraudsters, as card activity increases and people have more money available.
Furthermore, people on holiday are less cautious during this time of the year; not just on cards, but also with cash and internet banking.
“Card fraud does not just happen when your card is swiped and used at an ATM or merchant. Online or Internet transactions are also a major source of fraud. Criminals get hold of the numbers on your card, and with that, they are able to perform Internet transactions. This can be accomplished by writing down the number on your card, or photocopying it. Fraudsters often use the funds to purchase expensive electronic goods or flight tickets. Therefore, just a little attention to detail can protect you from fraudulent attacks,” said Geyser.
Merchants are requested to remain vigilant regarding suspicious or fraudulent behaviour and request the identification document of the customer for additional authentication. Credit and debit cards must be checked for security features for example hologram, the signature strip and card or bank number. If merchants wish to know more about fraud prevention, they are requested to contact the Point of Sale division of the bank at (061) 299 1882.
To protect the public from card fraud, Geyser urges people to reduce the daily limits on accounts to the minimum you will require per day to reduce the risk, check balances and statements as often as possible and never let the card out of site.
Furthermore, don’t keep the PIN written down anywhere near your card, don’t enter the PIN where people could observe this; whether at ATMs or at shops or restaurants and always cover the numbers with your other hand while entering your PIN and make sure nobody is trying to observe what you are entering. “Try and use ATMs that have a security guard on duty, or surveillance cameras in place, and be aware when the premises is quiet or deserted, observe ATMs for possible devices that look as if they don’t belong there. These could be skimming devices,” Geyser said.
“Be sceptical. Not everyone who offers assistance is legitimately concerned about you. If something seems suspicious, avoid the transaction and contact the bank immediately,” Geyser added.
Should the public suspect a fraudulent activity, they are requested to phone Bank Windhoek’s Customer Contact Centre at (061) 299 1200.