Card swapping and ATM scams targeting tourists

A few incidents of card-swapping and ATM scams have been reported recently in the Eastern Cape.
We advise trade stakeholders to advise their clients to remain vigilant about the modus operandi,
not only in this province but nationwide.

Modus operandi

  • Perpetrators impersonate officials, sometimes wearing khakis and jackets with “Department of Tourism” markings.
  • Tourists are persuaded or pressured to hand over cards or withdraw cash for fake tourism
    permits/entry cards at ATMs.
  • In some cases, they are told that they are required to pay for a tourism entry card or similar
    purchased from an ATM.

PRECAUTION: Please advise clients to be vigilant and wary of anyone requesting ATM cards or
cash for tourism fees.

Additional safety messaging

These measures have been introduced to enhance tourism safety in South Africa:

  • Enhanced surveillance and response: In key tourist zones, we have expanded security and emergency response channels. When footage is available, this is circulated to the authorities and incidents are investigated.
  • Increased visitor protection: Trained tourism monitors are available in key tourism areas,
    and ongoing investments are being made in improved safety infrastructure and signage.
  • Informed decision making: Tourists are equipped with travel advisories and industry
    safety guidance, provided by tourism industry stakeholders.
  • 24/7 Support: Our E2 National Monitoring Control Centre hotline is available for any
    tourism emergency and can be contacted on: +27 83 318 2475.
  • SECURA Traveller App: The SECURA Traveller app provides access to trained emergency
    response support, and first responders are readily available in many regions.

For more information, contact Natalia Rosa on +27 83 449 4334 or [email protected].