Warning: Online shopping fraud on the rise – FNB

Fraudsters have increased their attempts to steal money from consumers in the wake of a rise in online shopping due to restrictions in physical shopping linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, First National Bank (FNB) said on Monday.

In the latest modus operandi, criminals pretending to be bank officials contact consumers and deceive them into compromising their bank card details and disclosing one-time personal identification numbers (PINs) generated by banks to authenticate transactions when shopping online, FNB head of card fraud Senzo Nsibande said in a statement.

This allowed fraudsters to purchase items online using their victims’ funds.

“In such cases, criminals will call pretending to be from your bank of choice, informing you that there’s been fraud detected on your account while offering help to reverse the transactions,” Nsibande said.

Most people unknowingly read out their one-time PIN and as a result, fall victim to fraud.”

Nsibande said online shopping continued to rise around the world as the Covid-19 pandemic had left many people reluctant to physically go to shopping centres even where this was not prohibited, and the upward trend was likely to continue.

“While we continue to encourage the use thereof, we advise consumers to familiarise themselves with the new ways that criminals are using to defraud unsuspecting people,” he said.

“More importantly, we urge consumers to always protect their personal information. For our customers, we remind them that FNB will never request their private information such as a one-time PIN or their card PIN for any reason.”