Cape Town - Credit card fraud nearly doubled to R403m in the
2009/2010 financial year, a study by the SA Banking Risk Information Centre
(Sabric) has found.
In the report, released on Tuesday, Sabric said the amount
increased from R263.8m last year as the expanding credit card market gave
fraudsters more opportunities for scams.
"Credit card fraud occurred in all the provinces in
South Africa although some provinces experienced more card fraud than
others," it said.
"Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape account for
92.3% of the total credit card fraud losses in South Africa - the highest
number of skimming devices is also recovered in these provinces."
Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay said the fraud came as
banks were signing up more new customers and were providing products such as
credit cards to existing customers who previously did not have access to them.
"The higher volumes of cards in the market provide more
opportunities for credit card fraudsters to carry out scams," she said.
Sabric's report found that banks had also seen an increase
in the number of cash withdrawals at ATMs using counterfeit credit cards.
Some 159 handheld skimming devices were retrieved during the
year, compared to 190 last year.
Another 38 ATM mounted skimming units were removed this
year, compared to 36 in the 2009/10 year.
According to the report, the introduction of a dedicated
police team to tackle card-related crime in Gauteng province had a significant
positive impact on card fraud in the province.
"Since August 2010 the (SA Police Service) Project Team
jointly with bank investigators and Sars enforcement unit affected 261 arrests
and seized 3614 exhibits," it found.