National

Locals targeted by credit card scammers

Credit cardholders in Fiji have been venting their frustration online after discovering fraudulent charge made on their account. Newswire spoke to ten people claiming to be victims of this scam, and an interesting trend emerged. All ten had used their credit card at a prominent retail outlet in Fiji between December 2015 and January 2016, […]

Staff Writers

February 5, 2016 3:21 pm

Credit cardholders in Fiji have been venting their frustration online after discovering fraudulent charge made on their account.

Newswire spoke to ten people claiming to be victims of this scam, and an interesting trend emerged.

All ten had used their credit card at a prominent retail outlet in Fiji between December 2015 and January 2016, and all ten had fraudulent charges originating from the US.  Single fraudulent charges ranged from USD$600-2600.

The credit cards were Visa (7) and Mastercard (3).  Issuing banks for these cards included banks from Fiji, UK and India, among others.

An airline employee interviewed said he was notified by his bank regarding unusual activity with his bank account.

I was a little stunned when I was called up by my Bank regarding a $US620 charge from a jewellery store in Ohio that was made this past Sunday.

I was away in Fiji since last Thursday, and I arrived back to the Auckland city last night, so there’s no way it could have even accidentally been me.

There have been increased reports of skimming equipment in Fiji. Earlier this week, officials arrested a foreign national found in possession of such equipment.

Trends Abroad

Skimmers are small devices that can scan and store credit card data from the magnetic stripe.  Employees can have a skimmer stashed out of sight of customers.  

These employees could also pocket receipts left behind by cardholders or may copy card numbers onto a separate piece of paper.

A dishonest employee can steal valuable information from a customer’s card through use of a small, battery-operated “card skimmer.” This hand-held device reads a card’s magnetic stripe and records the cardholder data for later download to a computer. From there, the numbers can be used to make unauthorized purchases or create counterfeit cards.

Zero Liability Policy

Major credit card companies such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express have a zero-liability policy to protect cardholders. This policy protects customers from fraud and unauthorised charges made in stores, over the telephone, or on the Internet.

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