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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.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.