The Police have arrested a 27-year-old man for suspected possession of cloned payment cards and equipment for making cloned cards.

On 7 February 2023, the Police received a report that a cloned metal card had been used to make an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawal.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the man and arrested him on 16 February 2023. The man is believed to have copied the payment card details from the magnetic stripes of more than 60 original payment cards and later encoded them into blank metal cards which he had bought online. Besides copying the payment card details from the magnetic stripes, the man is believed to have removed and transferred the Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) chips to the blank metal cards. A laptop, two notebooks, an assortment of blank metal cards, an engraving machine, a card encoder, a Point-Of-Sale (POS) reader machine and some cloned metal payment cards were seized as case exhibits. Police investigations are ongoing.

The offence of possessing machines and equipment, which to a person’s knowledge, has been specifically designed or adapted for the making of any false instrument under Section 473A of the Penal Code 1871, carries an imprisonment term of up to five years, a fine, or both. The offence of possessing a forged valuable security under Section 474 read with Section 467 of the Penal Code 1871 carries an imprisonment term of up to 15 years and a fine.

The Police take a serious view of any person who may be involved in the production and possession of cloned payment cards, and perpetrators will be dealt with in accordance with the law.





Not a week goes by in the area with the police not receiving a report from a desperate citizen whose bank account has been cleared after their bank card had been cloned.

In the most recent case, a Dundee man lost R17 000 when his card was cloned – possibly while he was at the ABSA ATM on Victoria Street. He later received a SMS alert notifying him that the money had been withdrawn from Capitec ATM at the Boulevard Centre.


He has informed the police and his bank, Capitec, and is hopeful that once the bank is satisfied that his case is genuine, the bank will return his money. Banks are insured against such theft which is widespread.

But how does it happen?  The man, who does not want to be named, believes a device may have been attached to the last ATM he used that allowed the scamsters to download all the details from his bank card – including his number.


This information is simply transferred to another card and the conmen have complete access to your account.

Many believe that banks should do more to protect customers.  Scam artists are really arrested.

One told the Courier that a fingerprinting system should be introduced rather than a PIN number – this would increase security. Each ATM could be fitted with a fingerprint reading device that would be difficult to clone – well, hopefully…

Here are 10 tips provided by Sabric on how to avoid being card scammed at the ATM:-

• If you think the ATM is fault, cancel the transaction immediately, report the fault to your bank and transact at another ATM.

• Avoid ATMs that are dimly lit or surrounded by loiterers, and never allow your children to draw money using your card, since they’re the most vulnerable to perpetrators.

• Be cautious of strangers offering to help as they could be trying to distract you in order to get your card or PIN.

• Be alert to your surroundings. Do not use the ATM if there are loiterers or suspicious people in the vicinity. Also take note that fraudsters are often well dressed, well-spoken and respectable looking individuals.


• If you are disturbed or interfered with whilst transacting at the ATM, your card may be skimmed by being removed and replaced back into the ATM without your knowledge. Cancel the transaction immediately and report the incident using your Bank’s Stop Card toll free number which is displayed on all ATMs, as well as on the back of your bank card.

• Never force your card into the slot as it might have been tampered with.

• Do not insert your card if the screen layout is not familiar to you and it looks like the machine has been tampered with.

• Don’t use ATMs where the card slot, keypad or screen has been tampered with. It could be an attempt to get hold of your card.

• Some fraudsters wait until you’ve drawn your cash to take advantage. Be wary of people loitering around the ATM and ensure that you are not followed.

• Set a daily withdrawal limit that suits your needs (the default amount is set at R1,000.00), to protect yourself in the event that your card and PIN are compromised.

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