Credit Card Fraud in South Africa is when personal details or money are stolen through taking down someones credit card details. Statistics show that this is an extremely costly form of fraud, and it is happening more frequently in the country each year. When you make a purchase with your Visa or Mastercard, watch that the person helping you is not taking down your details, and make sure you do not leave your receipt behind.
Studies show that credit card fraud is linked to identity theft. This can happen via account takeover where a criminal tries to take over a person’s bank or credit account. Often a criminal will collect information about the person whose credit card by using their bank or account statements. When the criminal has the information, they can then try to change the account details to a different address by acting as the person. When this process is complete, the criminal can contact the bank and ask for a replacement card, which they can then use to purchase goods and services, or secure loans.
In some cases criminals pretend that they are fraud investigation agents from companies like Visa and Mastercard. It is important never to give out your credit card details over the phone, or it could be very costly to you.
There are six important things that you can do to avoid becoming a victim of these crimes. First, make sure you sign your card so that nobody can copy it, and get rid of old cards. Second, keep your card number a secret. Third, keep track of your spending so you can check your statements and make sure there have not been any fraudulent transactions. Fourth, keep your statements safe, or shred them before you throw them away. Fifth, always keep your details updated so that no cards are sent to the wrong address. Finally, always let your card company know if you notice fraudulent transactions, or if your card has been lost or stolen. These credit card fraud prevention strategies will ensure that you don’t become another statistic.
How do Criminals Steal your Identity?
How do criminals steal your identity? “Without you knowing”, is the most important part of the answer. Identity theft can happen without your awareness and can be a seriously tricky thing to rectify. Once your identity has been “stolen” you can be at risk of becoming a victim of banking fraud, or can land up having a criminal record placed against your name, or land up being married completely unaware of it.
Criminals can steal your identity in a number of ways, basically all involving gathering as much information about someone as possible which can leave you asking “How do criminals steal your identity?”. The more information they have the more they can do to profit, and hence to hurt you. Gaining your identity numbers, email access, credit card numbers, passport numbers and other personal details is nowadays mostly done digitally, but can also be done physically. The most common ways of gaining access to this vital information are: going through dustbins and discarded papers, email hacking, Internet scams, pick-pocketing and even armed robbery for wallets or personal documents. Digital means such as Trojan horses, which can set up keystroke logging on your computer, or email hacking to allow reading of all your correspondence are usually the most dangerous.
Phishing is the use of fake emails, sms messages or even phone calls, to gather information. This is one thing you can guard against easily, just by staying on your toes. Don’t give away information such as passwords, pin numbers, ID numbers on unsolicited calls or emails, always check the “from address” on emails, make sure the domain is the exact same as the genuine business before submitting anything. For example ebay.com and ebaypayments.com are not the same domain and you should not assume that anything saying it comes from your bank or a third party payment processing company is in fact from that company, if you have any doubt just phone the company and check it out before you fall victim and unaware.