It seems cases of card cloning are on the rise. Three months into the year, debit card holders had already lost $200 000 to perpetrators of bank card cloning. Now it’s being reported Philip Chiyangwa’s nephew –Mike Harris Chiyangwa- was arrested (for the third time) on allegations of cloning people’s bank cards.
Mike Harris Chiyangwa is accused of having swindled more than $20 000 from his card cloning antics with one of his alleged victims losing as much as $14 000.
You’re probably wondering how Mike Harris got involved in card scheming and according to the state, some of the complainants are his customers as he has a transport business. It’s a bit chilling to know that even a business can outright steal from of its customers and you really begin to wonder how one can be safe if some businesses are involved in these acts.
Not only that…
Last week another card cloning gang was apprehended after they were caught stealing a POS machine at a Zuva service station. It was easy to identify the thieves because of the CCTV footage of the crime.
Why would they physically steal the machines?
Cases of card cloning have been on the rise for the past few months and you’re probably wondering what or how the thieves use these machines once they have got their hands on them. Scammers modify the machines and the data is then used to make a counterfeit card and thus funds in your account just start to disappear without your knowledge.
What can be done to stay safe
Back in March, we wrote an article on how to avoid incidences of card cloning and if you hadn’t read that, now might be a good time. You wouldn’t want to be the guy/girl who randomly receives messages informing you that $14 000 has been debited from your account without your knowledge.
Banks need to adopt safer standards
Banks have been issuing statements warning customers on the increased risk of fraud. I do not think this is enough. Perhaps the central bank should closely look into making sure all banks are issuing out chip cards to replace the existing magnetic strip cards. Chip cards are proven to be much more secure than magnetic cards but this added security comes at a cost. As mentioned before, the cost of adopting Chip Cards is not only limited to ordering the Chip cards but upgrading and replacing the existing debit and credit infrastructure so maybe the RBZ should require chip cards to be adopted by all banks by a certain date.
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