Sarb wants vigilance after Standard Bank ATM heist in Japan | Fin24
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Sarb wants vigilance after Standard Bank ATM heist in Japan

May 25 2016 14:40

Pretoria - The theft of $13m (about R204m) from ATMs in Japan using counterfeit cards from Standard Bank prompted a call for vigilance from the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) on Wednesday.

Thieves made 14 000 withdrawals in just three hours - 78 a minute - from bank machines at 7-Eleven convenience stores across Japan, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Sarb deputy governor Kuben Naidoo told reporters that Standard Bank would shoulder the losses.

"We are pleased that Standard Bank publicly said what had happened. We don't know all the details yet, but we're looking into it and we will take all the steps necessary to protect our payment systems and banking systems from similar types of attacks," he said.

"We are working with the banks to ensure that they are constantly upgrading their ability to detect and repel cyber attacks. But you will always be subjected to these attacks."

Standard Bank said on Monday it had suffered the losses, not its customers, and that it had alerted the authorities. It estimated its total loss at R300m ($19m).

The bank has declined to comment further.

READ: Standard Bank Japan scam ‘well planned’ - Sabric

The thieves are still at large. Japan's Mainichi newspaper - citing sources - reported that police suspect more than 100 people were involved in the theft which took place on May 15 (a Sunday) in Tokyo and across 16 prefectures.

Most ATMs in 7-Eleven stores belong to Seven Bank, a Japanese lender part-owned by Seven & I Holdings, which operates the store chain in Japan. It is one of only two Japanese banks that allow withdrawals on foreign cards.

Experts said both banks should shoulder some blame for failing to monitor the flood of transactions, saying they should have had systems in place to detect unusual activity.

ALSO READ: Standard Bank victim of R300m fraud in Japan

standard bank  |  japan  |  scams  |  financial services


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