Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
Police have warned members of the public to be wary of a syndicate that is cloning secret pin numbers on Visa credit cards belonging to unsuspecting individuals in order for them to access cash from bank accounts or buy goods in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries. This comes after police received reports on such cases where individuals would later discover that several transactions were made from their accounts by some fraudsters.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the development and said they were concerned with such cases. “The Zimbabwe Republic Police is concerned with recent cases of fraud involving the use of Visa (credit) cards locally, and across the region,” he said.
He said in one of the cases which occurred on October 3, a Harare man made an inquiry on his bank account, and realised that a number of unknown transactions had been made.
“He made some enquiries with his bank management where it emerged that fraudulent transactions had occurred on his Visa card in which the yet-to-be identified accused person had bought goods in Zimbabwe and in South Africa worth thousands of dollars.
“Police are therefore urging members of the public to be alert on this new dimension of cyber crime where fraudsters hack pin numbers of Visa (credit) cards to access their accounts,” Chief Supt Nyathi said.
He urged people not to disclose their bank cards secret numbers to anyone. Chief Supt Nyathi said they were conducting investigations and would ensure that the law took its course on these fraudsters.
In November last year, Government said it was working on three Bills on information security to complement the Interception of Electronic Communication Act and make the digital space secure.
The three Bills, which were being pursued by the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, were Computer and Cyber Crime, Data Protection and Electronic Transaction Bills.
Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Dr Win Mlambo was quoted as saying that information should be jealously guarded as it was in dire demand by those who did not deserve it.
“This threat comes from a wide range of sources, including individuals, motivated groups, competitor corporates and organisations, organised criminal syndicates, individual hacking enthusiasts as well as sponsored hackers with varying levels of sophistication,’’ he said.