You are urged to be vigilant and cautious when using your card, be it at an ATM, SST, retail store, restaurant or hotel. There have been incidents of card swapping, where your card is retained and a card that looks similar is returned to you. An ever-increasing number of card-skimming incidents are also occurring. Skimming is perpetrated in a number of ways:
Firstly, a skimming device is attached to a card reader on a machine, such as an ATM, SST or point-of-sale (POS) device.
Secondly, two parties work in tandem. One will tamper with the machine so that the card is not correctly accepted by the machine. Alternatively, they will distract you while you are placing the card into, or retrieving it from, the card reader slot. As mentioned above, there may be a camera or a person watching as you enter your PIN.
Thirdly, skimming could happen when you voluntarily hand over your card to make a payment. One of the most common scenarios used is for the cashier to ‘clean’ your card on his or her clothing, or to move the card below counter height where the POS device is situated.
In a matter of moments the card is swiped through a magnetic card reading device, which may be smaller than the human hand. The information on the magnetic strip can then be encoded onto another account and your legitimate card can be replicated in moments. The card is of no use in its physical form unless the perpetrator has your PIN. In order to obtain it a camera may be trained on the number pad; or else one of the perpetrators may be physically observing you as you enter your four- or five-digit PIN.
Your card could also be compromised when you are using it for online or telephonic purchases, where your card number, name, expiry date and CCV number are disclosed to the parties involved. If the site is not in fact secure or legitimate, to begin with, then those details can be used to make any number of purchases online or telephonically.
Keep sight of your card at all times.
Hide your hand when entering your PIN.
Never share your PIN with anyone, even family and friends, and never write it down or store it electronically on a phone or laptop. If the card is stolen along with the phone or laptop, your accounts are at risk.
Refrain from allowing your children to draw money using your card, as they are often targets of the perpetrators.
If an ATM area is unlit, offline or there are people loitering at the device, do not use it.
If the merchant doesn’t have a wireless POS device then accompany the card to the device.
Always shield your hand when entering your PIN, regardless of whether you feel secure or protected.
Never accept assistance from anyone while using an ATM or SST, even from security staff or bank employees.
If you are distracted, even for a moment, consider that your card may have been compromised.
Only shop online or telephonically if you are absolutely certain that the recipient of the details is legitimate and that your details will remain secure.
Upgrade your cards to EMV (chip)-enabled cards as most POS devices in South Africa are EMV-enabled, which will help protect you from card skimming.
Sign the back of your card on receipt from the bank – if your card is stolen, the thieves will have to replicate your signature instead of just making one up.
Never assume your card has been retained by an ATM or SST. Always contact your bank to confirm and request the card be blocked immediately. Do not wait until you get home or back to the office – a skimmed card can be replicated in minutes and used immediately.
Familiarise yourself with your cards: what do they look like, does the plastic say ‘cheque card’, ‘debit card’ or ‘credit card’? What design is on the front and what do the transactions on your account look like when effected by a certain card? All these details will assist the quick and effective blocking of your card if it is stolen or skimmed. Valuable time could be wasted if the bank call agent needs to question you at length in order to determine which card may have been compromised.
Save your bank’s call centre number into your phone: Nedbank Card Desk: +27 (0)11 710 4710 (lost and stolen cards option).
Keep your merchant and ATM slips until the transaction is successfully posted to your account.
Enable transactional monitoring on your cards, so that transactions result in an SMS. Report any notifications that are not effected by you. Alternatively, monitor your accounts online or at the SST if you have access to self-service banking.
Do not believe hoaxes for example that entering your PIN backwards at an ATM will notify the police that you need assistance. These scams are designed to get you to divulge your PIN.
If you are a victim of card fraud
Notify Nedbank immediately on +27 (0)11 710 4710 (lost and stolen cards option) and confirm:
that you want to block your card immediately;
the card that was compromised;
the transactions under dispute;
that you have your card in your possession (and state if not);
the details you can recall when using an ATM, SST or POS device; and
the location where your card may have been compromised.
You will then be guided by the call centre agent. If you are unsure of which card was compromised, do not assume that you have quoted the card details correctly. Advise the agent that you do not know and provide the transaction details (date, amount and place) where the card was last used.
Insist that you receive a reference number for your call and keep a note of it.
Visit your closest branch to have the current card blocked and a new card/account created.