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Standard Bank customers ‘not affected’

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As news broke globally that South Africa’s Standard Bank had confirmed it may have lost up to R300-million ($19-million) in a “sophisticated, coordinated fraud incident” which allegedly involved around 100 people drawing money from ATMs and other facilities in Japan, a bank spokesperson was quick to reassure clients that the target was Standard Bank and not its customers.

The theft apparently took place over a period of around two hours, with fraudsters making a reported 14 000 transactions using bogus cards from over 1 000 ATMs around Tokyo.

Japanese media are reporting that some 1 600 credit cards “issued by one South African bank were used to commit the fraud”. Local fraud authorities are not speaking to the media while investigations into this large-scale transnational organised crime event are at an extremely sensitive stage.

Questions being asked of the financial services industry in the Twittersphere and various other online platforms include what customers can do to protect themselves from identity and credit card cloning or theft, and who is ultimately responsible for security issues concerning this.