Friday, April 19, 2013

Press Here

So, I had an unusual day yesterday. Last week I got an invite to the 9th Annual Visa / FNB Bank Card Security Week Press Function. I know, right?

Yesterday morning, I headed to SLOW in the City, which looks like a really lovely venue. Although I've never been in any of the Airport Slow Lounges, so I don't really have anything to compare it to, but I really liked it :) I think if I were a freelancer or worked for myself it'd be quite a nice spot to get some work done ... aside from the fact that it's in Sandton so you'd have to sit thru traffic anyway :P

I arrived a little early and waited in a room with a gorgeous green wall :) That was lovely.

So back to the Function. It's a little daunting when people ask you which Media House you're with ... and all you can do is say "I have a blog" :P Yeah, I felt under qualified. But none the less I am super thrilled I got to go and hear about this. It was really fascinating. And a little terrifying. I guess I am really lucky I've never been the victim of Card Fraud (yet?). And I've found myself becoming so much more aware of it since yesterday morning!

So the good news is that Gross Fraud to Sales is decreasing ... But I guess as fast as the investigators are figuring out what the fraudsters are doing, they're doing something new. Apparently it's a whole industry that people specialise in, like you or me in our careers :p And boy are they good at it. We saw a video where 2 people applied a skimming device to an ATM in under 25seconds (and that was back in 2006!). I may never use an ATM again ;)

Apparently fraud in South Africa is a R900million industry ... that works out to about 6c of every R100 worth of transactions. And 52% of Fraud is now Card Not Present Fraud. Counterfeit Fraud comes in 2nd at 38%.

We saw sample skimming devices. They're tiny ... the size of a lighter or box of matches. And the top device can hold up to 5000 scanned card numbers on it. Apparently the big bosses distribute these to waiters and other people who have access to our cards and recruit them to scan the cards and offer to pay them per card number scanned. Another thing that terrified me was hearing they can rig them up next to card scanners as you go thru toll booths ... you just swipe your card thru both devices, not realising there are 2 next to each other. Yikes.

Oh, and the most common fraud over the World Cup was key reader usbs plugged into communal computers with free wifi in hotels and the open online banking computers available in bank branches. Scary.

We saw videos of people taking advantage of pensioners at ATMs. They grab the card out of the ATM as it is returned to the victim and run away. The natural human reaction is to chase after the person who has just stolen your card. But the guy standing in line waiting behind you at the ATM then then takes your money that gets returned after your card. Horrific. Apparently FNB is switching the order to try and stop this from happening. So you'll get your money out first before your card is returned.

Although, as far as I remember, it used to work this way but was switch to card-then-cash because people were taking their cash and walking away, leaving their card in the machines. So neither is an ideal solution really. Except being vigilant.

And really, that is what Bank Card Security Week (22 -26 April) is all about. Teaching people to be more vigilant. Because collaboration between each one of us and our bank is crucial to avoid card fraud. Some of the ways individuals can help themselves not to become the victims of Card Fraud are:
1. Using Verified by Visa (or Master SecureCodes) for online transactions
2. Protecting your Card
3. Ensuring no one else has your PIN (I realised I am guilty of ignoring this one for the first time in my life because The Trucker knows my pin now ... yes, it was, like I presume it is for everyone, for convenience)
4. Ensure your card doesn't leave your view ... this means at a restaurant or when paying for petrol or other places it could be skimmed.

We can also use the technology on offer to us to our advantage. I consider myself a fairly tech savvy person but even I don't regularly change my pin ... although I do try to change my online passwords every 2yrs or so (that should probably also be more often, but who can remember these things?). I am pretty aware of my online and daily limits (because I so often have to change them when I pay for holiday stuffs), but it's also such a simple way to limit your exposure to fraud. And apparently people don't manage this effectively. And switching on things like the free inContact service (which I have done). These are all small things each of us can take responsibility for, to protect ourselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed the function and found it fascinating and frightening.

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