Credit and debit card fraud have declined nationally, the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said on Tuesday.
Credit card fraud between January and September last year dropped by 18 percent (about R300.6 million) compared to the same period the previous year, said Sabric’s commercial crime office general manager, Susan Potgieter, in Midrand.
Debit card fraud declined by seven percent last year compared to 2011.
Potgieter told reporters this was attributable to more efforts by banks to tackle fraud, more policing of card fraud and more awareness by consumers of the danger of fraud.
The national trend was, however, not reflected in Gauteng, where 54 percent of all card fraud took place.
Credit card fraud had shown an 0.36 percent increase, while there was a slight decrease of debit card fraud of 3.8 percent.
“We have the biggest challenge here, and there are a lot of reasons for it,” Potgieter said.
She cited Gauteng’s larger population and status as an economic hub as reasons for more card fraud.
“Where business goes, crime follows, because there’s more opportunity.”
Potgieter noted that the type of fraud had changed with fewer incidents of counterfeit cards, but there was a spike in the instances of what had been dubbed “Card Not Present” (CNP) fraud.
CNP fraud involves transactions done with online or telephonic shopping.
Card holders were often victimised when their card information — the numbers on the card and their name — were stolen.
“CNP fraud is most certainly the trend of the day. It’s quite possible it’s still a growing trend,” Potgieter said.
She said consumers should only use websites that are reputable or those that had added security such as pre-registration of cards.
Consumers should also make sure their cards were not left in the open where information can be taken.
“You have to treat your card like it was cash.”
Potgieter said consumers should also be aware of “phishing” sites: fake websites designed to look like the legitimate corporate sites of banks and other businesses.