Sharp rise in ATM bombings, cardless fraud: Sabric

There was a strong attacks on ATMs have increased in 2021, and while incidents of digital bank fraud have declined, the value extracted by criminals has soared, according to a new report from Sabric.

Sabric, or the South African Banking Risk Information Centre, said its annual crime statistics for 2021, released on Monday, showed that digital platforms (including integrated, online and telephone banking ) now outpaces all other transaction channels in South Africa – and is becoming safer to use.

From 2020 to 2021, digital bank fraud incidents decreased by 18% overall, with the largest drop occurring in mobile bank fraud. However, while the number of incidents has decreased, there has been a 45% increase in total gross losses in digital banking during the reporting period.

ATM attacks increased by 11% in 2021, with a 17% increase in losses. Incidents where explosives were used increased by 15%, while the number of incidents involving angle grinders decreased by 11%, from 47 in 2020 to 42 incidents in 2021.

“Sabric is concerned about the increase in the number of ATM attacks, despite the technology and security measures deployed to make ATMs safer,” he said.

“While the industry saw an 8% overall decrease in related theft incidents in 2021, pre-filing branch incidents increased by 56%, with financial losses in the same category increasing by 85%.”

When it comes to card fraud in 2021, card-not-present (CNP) fraud with a debit card contributed to 55.3% of all such fraud. CNP fraud increased by 31.5% compared to 2020 and remained a concern as transactions with online merchants increased.

Fake websites

Sabric CEO Nischal Mewalall warned that banks and consumers have also had to deal with growing incidents of fake e-commerce websites being used to defraud customers or harvest their credit card data. “In some cases, scammers even delivered substandard products to make the website look legitimate.”

Mewalall said digital banking products are “much more secure” than in-person banking. However, criminals have adjusted their social engineering tactics to take advantage of social media data and data leaks, making their efforts to manipulate customers difficult to spot.

Sabric is a not-for-profit corporation created by South African banks to support the banking industry in the fight against crime. Its customers are banks and cash transport service providers. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media

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