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SABRIC Concerned at the Spike in Card Fraud in the First Months of 2019

Data collected by SABRIC in the first three months of the year show a spike in card fraud – specifically online (see our report last month). In the past card fraud has tended to be from credit cards which are not as popular as debit cards in SA. However fraud using debit cards is now catching up with credit card fraud. It appears that the spike was caused by professional gangs who managed to get hold of the telephone numbers of consumers and either change them so that the OTP went to a new number controlled by the fraudster, or access the consumer’s phone (eg by stealing it and then carrying out the fraud before the phone number could be blocked). Theft of a phone may not need the physical presence of the bank card to activate a fraud, as the gangs often have extensive details on their intended victims – including bank card numbers, login details, pins, etc, scrapped off the web. The fraud can then be the online purchase of a number of high-price items (such as iPhones) from as many e-shops as possible within the window before the phone is blocked.

EFSA held a meeting with SABRIC and PASA this month to discuss how we can cooperate to warn the ecommerce sector, taking into consideration the specific issues found in online sales. A follow-up to this meeting is being planned. Also see the article below “New EU Online Payment Security System – deadline 14 Sept” which mentions the new security system expected to be introduced into SA at the end of this year.

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