‘Watch-out: Card cloning on the rise!’

Source: ‘Watch-out: Card cloning on the rise!’ | The Herald

‘Watch-out: Card cloning on the rise!’

Tom Muleya Fraud Insight

Someone might be on a shopping spree enjoying your money without your knowledge. 

It is an undeniable fact that technology has completely changed the face of the world by ushering in vast and unlimited opportunities in every area of human life. 

But, along with vast and unlimited opportunities, technology has brought in many criminal challenges such as card cloning. 

This type of cyber fraud is badly affecting the financial sector in Zimbabwe and globally, and cases of credit/debit card cloning are on the rise.

In order to appreciate the seriousness of this crime in Zimbabwe, let’s look at some story headlines in respect of card cloning in the local newspapers and other Media platforms.          

 There have been 154 cases of card cloning in Zimbabwe so far in 2018: ZICT 18 October 2018. 

Police Alert: Card cloning cases on the rise, 21 October 2019. Card Cloner found with 78 active Zimswitch cards: The Chronicle, 19 March 2021.  Customer Notice: Card cloning  NMB Bank Limited, 26 November 2020. 

Card cloning hits Zimbabwe banks: Business Times, 6 August 2020.  Nyaradzo loses $200K in suspected case of Card cloning, 1 January 2021. Man arrested for stealing $500K in Bank card fraud: #Asakhe, 18 March 2021. Man cloned bank cards and stole over Z$3 million, Court hears: Zimlive.com, 14 June 2021. ATM cards fraud: Company loses over ZW$436 000-00, 18 August 2021.

The above information is good enough to inform every Zimbabwean the extent of the problem of the crime of card cloning. 

Imagine just one card cloner having in possession more than 70 active Zimswitch cards and victims don’t even know that their personal bank details have been stolen while the criminal is shopping and swiping at will. 

More measures are required on the protection of personal information as card cloning has become rampant in Zimbabwe as criminals are taking advantage of the uptake of plastic money by the business community and the general public.

But what is card cloning? Cloning is a type of credit/debit card theft in which the thief makes a digital copy of the credit card information using a concealed or disguised electronic scanner. It is also called skimming. 

The Cloner will swipe your card through a machine known as a card skimming device to copy all your credit card or bank customer details, which are on the magnetic strip. 

The extracted details are then copied to the new or blank bank card, thereby creating a replica card which gives them access to everything in your account. 

According to the CNBC Newsletter, January 2021, payment card fraud loses reached $28.65 billion worldwide in 2019.  

Experts have warned that credit card fraud will increase due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since Zimbabwe has not been spared from this global pandemic, it therefore follows that credit card fraud is expected to increase like in the rest of the global village.

Take responsibility of yourself and avoid being a victim to Cyber card cloning fraud. 

Get empowered by Fraud insight and be part of a solution to card cloning. Watch out for the next issue for more information on Card cloning fraud.

For your feedback, WhatsApp line: 0772 764 043, or e-mail:teezmuleya@gmail.com. Tom Muleya is a Detective Assistant Inspector working under the Criminal Investigations Department. Harare