A report published last week by the Zimbabwe Republic Police of the rising cases of debit card cloning symbolizes one of the major risks of using the “plastic money”. Chief Superintended Paul Nyathi stated that from the beginning of the year to 15 March 2018, debit card holders had already lost $200 000 to the perpetrators of bank card cloning. Card cloning crimes first came to public attention with isolated cases but now the problem is spreading rapidly.
Zimbabwe has been battling cash problems so the surge of this type of crime can be attributed to the continued rise of cashless transactions which is inducing people to migrate from cash transactions. According to the report, the source of bank card cloning crimes is the Point of Sale Machines (POS) meaning that the criminals to some extent could be merchants. Doing transactions on POS machines is virtually the norm these days so it is imperative for the public to be informed about card cloning.
Educating the public
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is the foremost proponent of a cashless economy and what’s surprising is that it has not done anything to educate the public about avoiding this scam. Now if people get skeptical of using debit cards, what will become of their drive to have a cashless economy in 5 years?