Being a victim of bank card fraud causes problems for many victims who find themselves denied a loan or lose out on a job. Perpetrators of this crime use different methods to scam unsuspecting individuals by defrauding them through false applications, counterfeit cards, stolen and lost cards. There are a number of ways in which people can minimize their chances of falling prey to these scams.

People should ensure that their bank cards and important documents such as IDs are safe. A card PIN should not be shared with anyone. It is also important that bank statements are burnt or shredded because if perpetrators get hold them, they could use the details to open accounts. It is advisable that you don’t seek help from strangers at an ATM and suspicious activities should be reported to relevant authorities.

Quite often, many People find out that their credit record is bad because perpetrators used their lost or stolen card to buy goods on credit. It is therefore advisable to subscribe to a credit bureau’s credit and notifications service. That way, people will get notified whenever an enquiry is made against their name. It’s also through services like these that will make sure that people don’t get surprised when applying for a bond and they are declined.

While false application fraud has declined by over 90% from the period between 2007/2008 when it was very high, it still makes business hard for banks as perpetrators scam vulnerable individuals. Trying to clear one after being defrauded is a daunting task that involves endless work for the victim, from obtaining affidavits from the police station right up to getting cleared by the credit bureau.

Card fraud is a major problem in South Africa and perpetrators use many approaches to scam people. Visit www.banking.org.za for more information, latest updates on card fraud and tips on how to avoid being a victim.