Many South Africans will be taking it easy during their well-deserved end-of-year holiday, but one portion of the population that will be working as hard as ever– financial scammers.
The festive season is traditionally big business for fraudsters and thieves, because they are aware that many people would have received their yearly bonuses, and most are distracted by family festivities. Congested and noisy shopping centres of popular holiday towns are the perfect locations for these criminals to commit crimes and then disappear into the crowds.
“ATM theft is one of the most prevalent financial crimes that occur at this time,” says Nitesh Patel, Head of Customer Financial Solutions, Personal Banking at Standard Bank. “While banks work tirelessly throughout the year and even more so during the festive season to ensure that customer accounts remain safe, consumers must remain vigilant.”
According to Mr Patel, the most effective weapon against ATM-based fraud is to be alert and informed. Below, he lists and explains the methods criminals use to access your money, and the steps to be taken to prevent such crimes:
The three most common forms of ATM crime:
10 security tips that can prevent ATM-related crimes:
“Finally, cancel your card immediately if it is lost, stolen or retained by the ATM, and please report anything unusual when using an ATM to your nearest branch, the police or to your bank’s fraud-prevention line. The sooner you report a theft the greater the chance there is for the theft/potential theft to be reversed,” continues Mr Patel.
“ATM users will always be potential targets for criminals. But by arming yourself with the right information and by exercising extra caution in high risk situations, you can protect yourself and your family from fraud during the holidays and all year round.”