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Credit Card Fraud is increasing at an alarming rate.

This Newsletter has frequently pointed out the dangers of online fraud. Now, according to a report for Q1 2019, published by the Ombudsman of Banking Services, credit card fraud is growing at an alarming rate. The report shows that the increase in credit card fraud grew from 12.2% to 19.47%  from January to March 2019. Third age people are the most at risk according to the report. Those aged between 61 and 70 account for 21% of fraud, those aged between 71 and 80 account for 26% of complaints. Pensioners older than 81 account for 11% of complaints.

The scammers obtain credit card information fraudulently and use it to make purchases without the credit card holder’s knowledge. Fraud takes place through bank rewards programmes, online purchasing, phishing (accessing sensitive information from the credit cardholder through email etc), and vishing – the telephonic version of phishing. EFA has written to ask for a meeting with the Banking Services Ombudsman, Ms Reana Steyn, to explore ways to help consumers become more aware of the dangers of these scams.

The government’s Cybersecurity hub (http://cybercrime.org.za/), set up over 18 months ago, together with the National Consumer Commission and the banks’ specialized anti-fraud body, SABRIC, have been talking about a joint public campaign to raise awareness (this was suggested by EFA to both SABRIC and NCC over a year ago), however so far nothing has materialized.

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