Credit Card Fraud

Quick question for the clever people here.

My boss (UK national), lost her UK bank credit card, had it stopped and they couriered a new one to her, this was intercepted along the way and the guy has been having a real merry time buying cameras and docking stations and HUGE amounts of booze from TOPS! - not to mention visiting butchers and walking out with R2k worth of meat at a time.

What puzzles me is that it is one of those chip cards that require a pin, all the merchants that we called confirmed that he put in a pin.

How easy is it to either acquire a pin and/or load one onto a card - considering this was a brand new card, never been used and pin not loaded?

With a bent bank teller for a pal, obtaining a PIN for a given card is relatively easy. With knowledge of the credit card account number, a fraud investigator should be able to find out relatively quickly where and by whom the PIN was issued because banks’ systems are required to record transactional details of this kind. The relevant credit provider (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) should also be able to provide this info, or at least which banking institution issued the PIN.

But I must ask: How does she know about those purchases? If she’s received statements, the card went missing a while ago, and this might jeopardise her case. Has she taken the issue up with the courier company? Without proof that they delivered the card to her (e.g., her signature on the manifest), the courier is liable.


if couriered, and it was intercepted the sealed envelope usually contains the PIN: courier is liable as it has to verify idenity of recipient

It’s my understanding that bank cards and PINs are no longer shipped together because of the theft/fraud issue. This is true not just in SA but internationally. Instead, each credit institution has its own protocols using two separate and distinct channels, one to deliver the card and another for the PIN (for example, a courier service or registered post for the card, and SMS or e-mail for the PIN). In SA, upon receipt of a new or replacement card, you need to present yourself with the card and positive identification at a bank to activate the card and to get a PIN for it.


Ok…my last Visa card had both together ??? but it was delivered by courier who asked for ID etc. My wife received her’s a couple of weeks ago…same thing.

My bank just sends me a letter to inform me the card is available at my branch.

Then on collection they make you set the pin. Makes sense to me.

She received a statement on Friday evening which alerted her to the various transactions taking place whilst she’s patiently waiting for her bank card to be delivered.

As far as the UK bank can ascertain, the card went missing in transit, and is just “gone”, nobody signed for it, she’s been re-imbursed already, but now the bank refuse to send her another card and she can only get a replacement in person. She’s only going back in September, so she’s a tad stuck.

What is mortifying is that her husband has been a target twice in this year already, also his credit cards (one skimmed and another nicked from under his nose), its most likely a syndicate targeting international visitors. Since she’s going to be working here for another year or so, I suggested she opens a SA bank account.

They’re very trusting though… she keeps a wad of R10 notes in her car’s consol to give to the “poor beggars” next to the road. I find it sad to see that type of Naiveté destroyed.