CABS to suspend balance inquiries on POS devices
A number of banks have suspended balance inquiry services on all their Point Of Sale (POS) devices due to increases in cases of bank card cloning fraud.
This scenario called Card Cloning is the replication of original bank cards by criminals having acquired information attached to the magnetic strips of the Bank cards.
The counterfeit card is then used for transactions without the consent of the original card owner.
According to Police reports, in 2018 about 154 cases of card cloning were recorded and money amounting to 200 000 was lost within a period of 3 months to cases related to card cloning.
On this note CABS managing director Simon Hammond stated to the bank’s clients that all Point of Sale balance inquiries is to be terminated with effect from 1 May 2019 from all POS devices.
Hammond mentioned that the Bank Is temporarily suspending balance inquiry services due to rampant increases in bank card fraud bedevilling the Bank customers, but POS devices would continue to offer their normal services apart from balance inquiries.
He said the Bank customers would continue using alternative means of inquiring balances apart from POS devices, for instance the use of mobile or internet banking or to sign up for SMS alerts in order for quick detection of activities which might generate suspicion on their accounts.
According to information gathered from one close source to the Bank, CABS is the sole bank that Is currently considering to terminate POS services and more banks are yet to announce their measures to address the problem of card cloning since it is affecting several banks.
The alarm was further generated by a recent case study of a Bulawayo widow who lost about 40 000 dollars after a Harare criminal successful cloned her deceased husband’s bank card and proceeded to conduct illegal POS transactions at a number of retail points around Zimbabwe.
The widow, Mrs Margaret Watson, lost $43 013,77 to a 27 year old Sunningdale resident Timmy Kuzhangaira who is alleged to have copied the card information while she was shopping at a Pick n Pay Supermarket in Bradfield.
Syndicates of criminals are taking advantage of the uptake of plastic money by business operators as well as members of the public and consequently, card cloning has become rampant in Zimbabwe.
A representative of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers also stated that the Confederation’s members have also fallen prey to the card scammers as they sometimes steal POS machines from service stations and shops and modify them to comply with their shenanigans through uploading data which they use to clone debit cards.