Absa suspends Easypay transactions after internet fraud

2011-09-12 11:59
Absa Bank has suspended all credit card transactions through the EasyPay website after receiving a number of fraud complaints.

The bank stopped all transactions on the EasyPay website last week and laid a complaint with the police, according to Beeld newspaper.

Head of Absa’s fraud detection unit Paul Mathias told the paper the bank stopped the transactions last Wednesday as a pro-active step to protect the bank’s customers.

This would apply until the problem was resolved, he said.

Chief executive of EasyPay, Serge Balamant, said the company had only found out that Absa had suspended its credit card transactions with EasyPay when he read about it in a report in Die Burger.

“We will investigate all our options because Absa’s lack of transparency is costing us in our business and our credibility,” Balamant told Beeld.

EasyPay is a website which encrypts credit card users’ information when they pay accounts, traffic fines or prepaid electricity, which should protect these details from internet fraudsters.

Mathias said EasyPay users could still conduct their transactions at EasyPay kiosks and supermarket chain stores.

FNB, which manages EasyPay transactions, had been notified that Absa was suspending the transactions.

FNB said it had not taken similar measures, although it was aware of the problem.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said today that the investigation had been handed over to the Hawks, who said they could not divulge any details of the investigation.

EasyPay posted a ‘phishing’ warning on its website, saying that customers should be vigilant against criminals who try to obtain confidential information.

The message said EasyPay users should be suspicious of email purporting to be from EasyPay requesting credit card details, as these were often send by perpetrators of internet fraud.