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Card cloning on the increase, police warn public

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Card Cloning

Source: The Herald.

Police have warned members of the public to be wary of a syndicate of criminals that have been swindling people through card cloning, with over 150 cases having been reported countrywide since January. The Herald understands that several businesses and individuals have lost thousands of dollars through such activities.

In a statement, Criminal Investigation Department spokesperson Detective Assistant Inspector Portia Chinho said the Commercial Crimes Division had noted the cases of card cloning which have resulted in financial losses to corporates and individuals.

“Criminals are taking advantage of the uptake of plastic money by business organisations and members of the public to swindle money through card cloning,” she said.

“Card cloning involves the production of counterfeit bank debit cards by criminals after fraudulently acquiring bank debit/credit card information contained in the magnetic strip of the bank debit card.

“Criminals are acquiring bank debit card information through gadgets known as skimmers. These skimmers are able to extract debit card information and the said devices are similar to point of sale machines.

“Point of sale machines are a major catalyst and intelligence gathered has pointed out that there is collusion between these cyber criminals and cashiers at shops, liquor outlets and casinos, just to name a few.”

Det Asst Insp Chinho said some criminals also stole the point of sale machines from shops and service stations for the purpose of uploading data which they used to clone debit cards.

“For the period January 2018 to date, the division has taken over 154 cases of card cloning,” she said. “Out of these, 48 were received during the month of June alone and substantial amounts of cash were lost as a result of these scams.

“Notable arrests on card cloning cases have been made and some of the cases have since been finalised at court, while others are still pending.”
Det Asst Insp Chinho said members of the public were being urged to ensure that they keep a sharp eye as their debit cards are being swiped on the point of sale machines and to ensure that their debit cards are not taken out of sight by the cashier or till operator.

She said a genuine point of sale machine produces a slip when the transaction is unsuccessful due to connectivity issues.

Thus, one should insist for the slip and if not issued it becomes a red flag and one should report to the merchants’ authorities,” said Det Asst Insp Chinho.
“Any change in the use of the Point of Sale Machine must be done in the presence of the cardholder and the PIN must not be exposed to anyone.

“Cardholders are discouraged from using their debit cards on unmarked Point of Sale Machines. Any suspicious actions at the Point of Sale Machines must be reported to the merchant’s authorities. Giving custody of debit cards to anyone other than the debit card holder is discouraged, especially for the purpose of acquiring cash as this may give criminals room to clone ones’ debit card at their own will.”

Det Asst Insp Chinho said cardholders should make use of electronic banking systems offered by banks such as instant messaging platforms, as this will enable detection of unauthorised payments and prompt blocking of the debit card by the bank to mitigate financial damage.

Business organisations have also been urged to regularly reconcile their bank statements to check and detect unauthorised payments.
“Cashiers and till operators are urged to check and verify the identity of cardholder through the production of the national registration card and other proof of identity,” said Det Asst Insp Chinho.

“Cashiers and till operators are urged to keep an eye on POS machines and never leave them unattended. They are also urged to quickly report any missing POS machines.

“Cashiers and till operators are urged to check the first four digits and the last four digits of the card number and compare with the figures on the slip produced by the point of sale machine.”

Det Asst Insp Chinho said members of the public and business organisations should promptly report to the nearest police station any card cloning incidences.
“The police are encouraging everyone to play their part in fighting economic crimes and create a crime free society,” she said.

“We are encouraging members of the public to join our various community policing initiatives such as the Business Against Crime Forum of Zimbabwe, Crime Consultative Committees and others.

“These will also help to stay close to the police and keep abreast with crime trends.”

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BUSINESS

Econet goes into forex exchange. Launches bureau de change

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Ecocash Zimbabwe

ECOCASH has launched a digital mobile phone-based bureau de change in a move set to increase competition in the foreign currency exchange business.

The innovative facility, a first by a mobile money service provider, will likely revolutionise the business by providing the much-needed convenience to the platform’s 10 million registered customers.

According to the company, the new service will allow EcoCash customers to sell foreign currency in real-time and instantly have the local currency converted and credited to their wallets.

The move follows the granting of an operating licence to EcoCash by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which has an effect of increasing access to specialised digital financial services to millions of Zimbabweans.

Speaking at the launch of the service in Harare yesterday, EcoCash chief executive officer, Ms Natalie Jabangwe, explained how the service would work.

“Before performing a currency conversion transaction, one needs to fund their EcoCash wallet,” she said, adding that a wallet could be funded in a number of ways.

“You fund your wallet by doing a cash-in of physical US dollars (or forex) into the wallet. Or you fund your wallet over the counter, at any Econet Shop. You can also fund your wallet through a direct in-wallet receipt of remittances from the diaspora into your EcoCash wallet. This could be through existing EcoCash remittance partners, which include Cassava Remit, World Remit, Mukuru, Western Union, Money Gram, Orange Botswana and MTN.”
Ms Jabangwe said an EcoCash customer could also fund their wallet via a Nostro bank-to-wallet transfer on their phone, from their respective FCA bank account linked to the EcoCash FCA wallet. She said once the wallet was funded, a customer could then proceed to dial a dedicated EcoCash Bureau de Change menu on the access code *150# to carry out their transaction.

“Customers will be able to check the rate of the day, get a quote for the amount to be sold and receive instant ‘confirmation of sale’ of foreign currency and the ZW$ conversation amount – all this happening via their mobile phone,” Ms Jabangwe said.

Cassava Smartech CEO, Mr Eddie Chibi, the parent company of EcoCash, said: “We are excited to be the first and only mobile financial service provider in Africa to offer this innovative service to our customers, empowering them with a simple, convenient, fast and real-time Bureau de Change service that they can access and use to transact anywhere, anytime.”

He said the service will help customers access competitive exchange rates quickly, convert or change their money in real-time, and transact on a secure platform that they have come to trust.

Ms Jabangwe said EcoCash Zimbabwe continued to leverage on the dynamic innovation capabilities that technology gives by building new products and services that go beyond the early services of financial inclusion.

“The advantage of having a scaled transaction platform is that you can build new services in line with a changing market environment. Accessibility of these services on the mobile phone enables us to travel the journey with our customers towards more complex but necessary financial services in the future,” she said. The Chronicle

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BUSINESS

Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe ventures into trucks business

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Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe

Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, yesterday launched the Vaya logistics unit, an additional entity that deals with delivery trucks and van services under its Vaya division.

The launch of the new product was done at the Cassava Smartech stand at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

Like any ordinary ride, the trucks and vans can be “easily” booked from anywhere at any time via the convenience of a mobile application, management said.

Chief executive officer Mrs Dorothy Zimuto said the launch came about after Cassava had noticed high demand for service to transport cargo on the market.

“Today, here in Bulawayo, we are launching Vaya logistics under the Vaya division because we noticed that there is a need to transport cargo from one place to another,” she said.

She said the company noticed that people using Vaya mobile were bringing cargo along with them which small rides could not transport.

“Previously we only had Vaya express, which moved small packages from one point to another but we have now introduced vans and trucks that can transport heavier cargo,” said Mrs Zimuto.

She said the services were not in competition with any business but were rather complementing what is already on the market.

Mrs Zimuto said Cassava was working on introducing waste disposal services and Vaya specialists services such as borehole drilling, road construction and plumbing under the Vaya division.

She said Cassava was looking at creating a pool of builders, plumbers, electricians, agronomists, mechanics, drivers, nurse aides, carpenters, tillers, tailors, tutors, hairdressers, barbers and domestic workers so that they can be connected to their various markets under an initiative called Technites.

Cassava Smartech has managed to successfully bring into operation Vaya tractor and ambulance services, which can also be accessed on the Vaya mobile app.

Meanwhile, Cassava Smartech, taking advantage of the ZITF platform, has also launched its shuttle services by offering free rides to exhibitors, business people and professionals travelling to the trade fair by air.

Throughout the trade fair week, the Vaya shuttle will be offering free shuttle service to all visitors to ZITF landing at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport. The Chronicle

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DIASPORA

Frank Buyanga Lamborghini Avedantor S owner

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Frank Buyanga

Frank Buyanga has emerged as the owner of the Lamborghini Avedantor S worth about R7.48m that landed in Harare a fortnight ago.

Last week H-Metro reported on the vehicle, whose owner was a mystery then that had been spotted in and around Harare’s northern suburbs including a popular shopping centre.

However, Frank Buyanga turned out to be the owner on Saturday afternoon as he returned from his South Africa base.

Frank Buyanga was spotted with the car at the arrivals section at the Robert Mugabe International Airport and moments later he walked into the Lamborghini Avedantor S and drove off.

Lamborghini Aventador S contains all the usual stuff about new four-wheel steering systems, a 130 per cent improvement of front axle downforce and a whole new control unit to marshall inputs from all the active systems, but none of it, no matter how high-tech, overshadows the drama.

This is how the Aventador S shapes up. It still uses the same central carbon tub with aluminium sub-frames fore and aft. It drives all four wheels through a central Haldex clutch.

The engine is the same 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12, but the valve timing and variable intakes have been altered, yielding another 40bhp (and exactly 1lb ft more torque). The power gain is also aided by a raised rev limiter (from 8,350rpm to 8,500rpm).

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