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What Senior Citizens Can Do To Keep Their Money Safe From Card Fraud

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Card fraud remains a rising risk for consumers, more so to senior consumers who are often the most vulnerable to fraudulent attempts. Therefore, the need to remain vigilant when using or managing your bank card remains key to protecting yourself against fraudsters.

Bridgette Walsh Kruger, CEO of FNB Private Clients says, “We strongly encourage customers more so our senior customers to always practice some precautionary measures to protect themselves against possible fraud when transacting. Protecting yourself is not simply limited to your physical banking card, it also includes being observant and practicing safe banking behaviour at ATMS, over the phone or through your card data that can be used to buy goods online. It’s also important to emphasise that if one is negligent in protecting their banking details, they could unfortunately find themselves liable for debt racked up by criminals who have accessed their bank card information fraudulently.”

Managing one’s money is a collective effort between the customer and the bank, however criminals are aware that banks continue to make substantial investment in security systems, therefore they predominantly target customers when attempting to defraud. Often, the victims are senior customers who either welcome unsolicited help or those who are unfortunately unaware of these modus operandi.

“To prevent this, we at FNB have invested resources to inform, educate and support seniors and all other customers to bank safely without falling victim to fraud. Bank cards have many security features which are designed to minimise fraud while improving convenience, but card safety is a two-way street that requires consumers to exercise caution to avoid falling victim to fraudulent activities”, says Trish Ramdhani, Head of Fraud, FNB Card.

Ramdhani says banking customers should not only be vigilant when using their cards in physical environments such as ATMs but they should also exercise heightened caution when using virtual or digital platforms like a banking App, online banking, cellphone banking and online shopping merchants.

Ramdhani advises senior citizens to always remember the following basics of card safety when banking:

·       Take note of card safety measures recommended by your bank

There is a lot of misinformation about how people can prevent card fraud, but it is always best to follow your bank’s recommendations on card safety, in addition to conventional ways of safekeeping your valuables. “Do not listen to anyone who suggests using reckless measures that could damage the quality and functionality of your card. Bank cards are designed to perform specific tasks and contain a lot of security detail which may not be visible to the naked eye, therefore tempering with it could cause irreparable damage,” says Ramdhani.

·       Do not keep your card together with your PIN

This is one of the golden rules of card safety, but it is often ignored, because people cannot anticipate losing their bag or wallet which tends to store such valuables. Rather be safe than sorry and memorise

your PIN instead of writing it on a piece of paper or saving it on your phone. FNB offers a View Pin Facility on our banking app so you can easily and securely view your pin.

·       Do not disclose sensitive information to anyone pretending to be calling from the Bank

People claiming to be phoning from FNB might not actually be from the Bank. Always know who you are dealing with. Fraudsters might contact you pretending to be phoning from FNB’s fraud department to assist you with a fraudulent transaction or debit order. The purpose of the fraudulent call is to obtain sensitive information from you such as your one time pin (OTP). The fraudsters might also ask you to initiate a transaction on the FNB App or FNB Online Banking as part of the fraud reversal process. FNB will never ask you to process a transaction in order to reverse fraud. In addition, FNB will never ask you for your OTP or confidential information such as your banking password. When in doubt terminate the call and contact the number at the back of your card or report fraud and cancel your cards on the FNB Banking APP immediately.

·       Immediately report stolen and/or lost cards

FNB customers can easily cancel their cards or report possible fraudulent activity on their cards by using the Report FraudOnApp function on the FNB App. The function further allows customers to replace blocked cards and schedule their own delivery by easily following the provided  steps. Customers can  also phone the contact centre or by visiting their nearest branches  to report stolen cards as well as fraudulent card activity.

·       Take advantage of contactless payments

The introduction of new payment technologies such as contactless payments give consumers far more control over their bank cards, meaning you don’t have to part ways with your card when making payments at merchants that accept contactless payments.

Ramdhani says all you have to do is to look out for the contactless sign and simply tap without handing over your card. Not only is this quicker but it also gives the cardholder peace of mind. “At FNB, we’ve previously issued out 100% contactless cards for new customers as well as existing customers who may need a replacement card. We’re seeing a growing number of customers who prefer to use contactless payments in line with international trends”, adds Ramdhani.

·       Be vigilant when purchasing online

When buying goods and services online, it is important to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable service provider before sharing your card details. Do not simply click on the first link you come across; rather type the web address of the service provider you intend to use.

Customers can also load their Virtual Card on trusted websites or Apps for safer and convenient online shopping, as well as wearable devices for contactless payments. Initially, customers will be able to use their Virtual Cards for eCommerce purchases, streaming services, subscription payments and QR payments via Scan to Pay on the FNB App. In the coming months, the Virtual Card will also support usage in supported Contactless ‘Tap to Pay’ Digital Wallets. These include but are not limited to FNB Pay and Samsung Pay, ensuring that they can enjoy a complete and safe digital experience.

  • Beware of Phishing, Tricksters, and Mimics

Scammers often pretend to be someone you may trust, like a banking official, an insurance agent or even a job provider. They may try to persuade you into revealing sensitive information like an OTP (One Time PIN – used to approve a financial transactions) or you login credentials. Don’t give out any card details, email addresses and other personal details to unknown persons. Avoid responding to such texts, phone calls, or emails. FNB and their representatives will never ask you for your OTP or login credentials or to complete a transaction on the App to ‘reverse’ a so-called fraudulent transaction

“Card payments offer a lot of benefits for consumers and far outweigh the risk and expenses associated with handling cash. Over the years, we have seen a sustainable rise in the number of consumers who prefer to use their bank cards to pay for goods and services. However, the need to prioritise safety should not be neglected,” concludes Ramdhani.

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