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ATM scam: Japan and SA to work together

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The Standard Banking Group has suffered a gross loss estimated at R300 million following a sophisticated co-ordinated credit card scam involving 1 000 ATMs and 14 000 convenience stores.

The banking group’s media spokesman, Ross Linstrom, said on Monday morning the scam involved the withdrawal of cash using a number of fictitious cards at various ATMs in Japan.

“The target of the fraud has been Standard Bank and there has been no financial loss for customers. Standard Bank has taken swift action to contain the matter and the gross loss to the bank is estimated at R300m.

“This is prior to any potential recoveries that may serve to reduce the loss.

“The relevant authorities have been alerted and investigations are at a sensitive stage and further information will be provided as appropriate,” he said.

It has been reported that local authorities have been brought in to help unravel the scheme and bring those responsible to book.

The bank made the announcement on Monday morning after Japanese media reported that about 1 600 credit cards issued by a South African bank were used to commit the fraud at various ATMs and convenience stores in just over two hours.

The Japanese news publication Mainichi reported that Japanese police would work with South African authorities through the International Criminal Police Organisation to look into the major theft, including how credit card information was leaked.

Mainichi reported that the incident happened in the morning of May 15 in Tokyo as well as at 16 prefectures across Japan.

Monday morning’s revelation comes just six months after the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) announced that the banking industry saw an overall decrease in card fraud last year.

In releasing its annual card fraud statistics in November, Sabric stated that credit card fraud had decreased by 28.6 percent from R353.3m in 2014 to R252.2m last year with an increase of 8.3 percent for debit card fraud in the same period.

[Source: The Star]

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