NATIONAL Commercial Bank (NCB) is confirming investigations by Sunday Finance of a spike in credit card fraud at the bank but has rubbished claims that the upgrade of its banking system last year has caused many customers to fall victim to fraudsters.

Last month we reported that Scotiabank admitted to an increase in credit card fraud, which has been an area of concern for the bank.

Responding to questions from Sunday Finance, NCB reports that, “recently, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of attempts to defraud banking customers with credit card activation scams. To do this, criminals will steal a customer’s credit card from the mail, and then the criminals will call the customer pretending to be an employee of the bank.

“Under this guise, they tell the customers that they are calling to verify that the customer had applied for a credit card, and that they would like them to verify the authorisation code sent to them via text message, in order to dispatch the card. Once the customer provides the code, the fraudsters are able to activate the credit card and use it to conduct fraudulent transactions.”

Based on our investigations NCB customers, who have fallen victims of fraud, have sought to link the challenges with the bank’s system upgrade and fraud being perpetrated on them. However, NCB has sought to counter this claim saying, “our recent upgrade has not resulted in any identifiable spikes in fraud cases or fraud-related matters.

“Criminals technically work 24/7, 365 days of the year, so the cases of fraud and scamming are not new territory, nor have they particularly increased since our upgrades. What may be the paradigm shift at this time, however, is that persons and companies like NCB are stepping out of the shadows, and are becoming more vocal about what its happening.”

Turning to the system upgrade challenges, the bank explained that the recent upgrade to its core banking system was to improve customers’ overall experience while doing business with the bank. NCB said while it recognises that some of our customers are being impacted by the unfortunate occurrence of fraud, “these are in no way related to the recent upgrade.”

According to NCB, “to date, we have stabilised all the known major issues which arose as a result of our system upgrades, and our team continues to vigilantly monitor the space. Naturally, we will continue to expeditiously work through any teething pains that may continue to surface as we work to deliver a world-class experience for our customers.”

When asked how is the bank resolving these issues and have any of the perpetrators been caught recently, NCB responded, “once these matters are reported the bank will conduct a prompt investigation into the matter. Once the case has been thoroughly investigated and has been deemed a confirmed case of fraud, the bank will refund the customer’s account.

“We continue to work with the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime branch of the police force to nab some of the main players involved in these fraudulent schemes, and this has been reaping significant results. “

Coming in The Business Observer on Wednesday we will chronicle how some NCB customers were defrauded and provide advice from NCB to customers to counter attempts at fraud being perpetrated on them.

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