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Banks move to arrest card cloning incidents

by Staff reporter
23 Apr 2019 at 07:04hrs | Views
AN increase in cases of bank card cloning fraud has resulted in some banks suspending balance inquiry on all merchant point of sale (POS) devices.

Card-cloning is the production of counterfeit bank cards by criminals after acquiring information contained in the magnetic strip of the bank card.

They can use the duplicate card to make transactions.

According to the police, 154 cases of card cloning were reported in 2018 and US$200 000 was lost within three months.

In a statement to clients, CABS managing director Mr Simon Hammond said with effect from May 1, the bank will suspend balance enquiry on all POS devices.

"CABS would like to advise that due to an increase in bank card fraud cases, the society will be suspending balance enquiry on all merchant POS devices with effect from 1 May 2019. However, agent POS devices will continue to offer the service," said Mr Hammond.

He said the bank customers would, however, continue to check their balances using various platforms offered by the financial institution.

"We encourage you to make use of mobile or internet banking for balance enquiry and to sign up for SMS alerts in order to quickly detect any suspicious activities on your account," he said.

A source said CABS is not the only bank considering suspending POS balance enquiry suspensions as the financial sector moves to arrest card cloning fraud incidents.  

"More banks will soon be announcing their positions as this fraudulent behaviour has become of concern across the banking sector," said the source.

Recently, a Bulawayo widow lost more than $40 000 after a Harare man allegedly cloned her late husband's bank card and went on to conduct illegal point of sale (POS) transactions at various retail outlets.

Ms Margaret Watson allegedly lost $43 013,77 to Timmy Kuzhangaira (27) of Sunningdale suburb who is said to have copied her bank card while she was shopping at Bradfield Pick n Pay Supermarket.

Card cloning has become rampant in Zimbabwe as syndicates are taking advantage of the uptake of plastic money by business organisations and members of the public.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) said its members have also fallen victim to the scammers, who in some instances steal POS machines from shops and service stations and upload data which they use to clone debit cards.

Source - chronicle