FNB warns of new online shopping fraud tricks

Read time 2min 10sec

As lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic placed heavy restrictions in physical shopping, consumers have turned increasingly to shopping online.

However, never to miss a trick, bad actors have been eyeing these platforms and upping their efforts in an attempt to defraud consumers through card-not-present shopping activity.

Senzo Nsibande, FNB head of Card Fraud, says: “The latest modus operandi is that criminals contact consumers to deceive them into willingly compromising their card details and one-time pin (OTP).”

In these cases, malefactors will call pretending to be from an individual’s bank of choice, informing them that there’s been fraud detected on their account, and offering help to reverse the transaction.

The criminals then ask the victim to read out the OTP they have just received, which enables them to fraudulently purchase goods using the target’s card details online. Many people, Nsibande says, unknowingly read out their OTP and fall victim to fraud.

He shares tips on what users can do to protect themselves against fraud of this nature. “Be alert and aware of individuals contacting you pretending to be from the bank. Fraud departments or any official from a bank will never ask you to disclose your pin or OTP. Also, protect your card details and ensure that you shop via secure platforms or Web sites.”

He also urges consumers to register for inContact, a free instant SMS service that notifies users when their card is swiped or when cash is withdrawn from their account.

"Do not disclose your OTP to anyone, including family, friends and ‘bank officials’, in fact, protect it as you would your PIN," he adds. In addition, under no circumstances send e-mails quoting your card number, expiry date and CVV number.

Finally, he advisers users to verify any information presented on a suspicious call by checking your transaction history through the banking app or the contact centre using the number on the back of the card. “Should you suspect any fraudulent activity, immediately report the incident through the banking app.”

As online shopping rises in popularity, and as long as we are in the throes of the pandemic, online fraud is likely to rise too, says Nsibande.

He urges consumers to familiarise themselves with the new ways that criminals are using to defraud unsuspecting people, and to always protect their personal information.

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