Beware of falling victim to fraud

Windhoek-Criminals are always lurking around, looking to take advantage of you when you let your guard down.

It could happen when you purchase groceries at a store, have breakfast or lunch at a restaurant, book accommodation in a lodge, hotel or purchase air tickets.

These transactions often require using your debit card or credit card at a Point of Sale machine or withdrawing cash at an ATM.

Cognizant of this unsettling fact, Standard Bank's Acting Head of Marketing Sigrid Tjijorokisa cautioned the public to be vigilant as they could fall victim to fraud at any time. Tjijorokisa shared some tips to keep in mind when using your cards:

o Never keep the ATM card or credit card together with your PIN.

o Never allow anyone else to enter your PIN for you, or enter it while someone is watching, even when someone is assisting you. Block the view of the keypad (the part where you punch in your PIN) when entering the PIN at an ATM or Point of Sale terminal.

o When paying at a Point of Sale terminal, beware of suspicious cashiers who make movements, which could be aimed at distracting your sight of the ATM card or credit card.

o Familiarise yourself with ATM functions and only enter the information the ATM requires of you and do not allow fraudsters to deceive you into believing that ATM functions have changed. Fraudsters could swap your card, after obtaining your PIN.

o If unsure about ATM functions, or unfamiliar with how to use an ATM, ask bank staff for assistance.

Never hand your ATM or credit card for swiping on a Point of Sale terminal for a transaction away from you. Rather always have your card in sight.

o Observe your surroundings before using an ATM, especially at malls and fuel stations.

o Avoid using secluded (isolated) or unguarded ATMs if possible, unless you have someone accompanying you.

o If someone or something seems suspicious, leave the area immediately.

o Physically inspect the card slot of the ATM to ensure it has not been tampered with and there is nothing attached to it.

o Store your cash away before leaving the ATM.

o Review your account periodically via statements to see whether any unknown transactions have occurred on your account.

o When purchasing goods online, use secure websites (credible websites).

o Have your card stopped in the event of suspected fraud or when lost by calling 081 9286 or (061) 294 2136.

o Obtain a replacement card at any Standard Bank branch to avoid inconvenience.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia