Vic­tim of fraud at Meerensee ATM

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Tam­lyn Jolly

CRIMES of fraud are on the rise and peo­ple are urged to be vig­i­lant, es­pe­cially when with­draw­ing cash from ATMs.

This warn­ing comes from Richards Bay SAPS after a res­i­dent’s bank ac­count was cleaned out on Satur­day.

‘I went to draw money from the ATM at one of the petrol sta­tions in Meerensee,’ said the res­i­dent, who asked not to be named.

‘The ma­chine at first did not want to take my card, but a guy be­fore me told me that I must push my card up a bit.

‘I ig­nored him and tried again. He quickly pushed my card into the ma­chine and, not think­ing any­thing of it at first, I pro­ceeded with the trans­ac­tion.’

The res­i­dent said that after in­sert­ing her card, the ATM asked for a code, but not her PIN code.

‘I didn’t think much of it be­cause I don’t bank with the ATM’s bank.

‘So I punched in my PIN, but in­stead of show­ing four stars it ac­tu­ally dis­played my PIN code.’

She at­tempted to can­cel the trans­ac­tion but the ma­chine would not spit out her card.

‘I phoned my hus­band to let him know what had hap­pened and he told me he had re­ceived SMSs in­form­ing him that money had been with­drawn.’

With the help of the petrol sta­tion man­ager, the res­i­dent tracked down the ve­hi­cle that the sus­pect had fled in – a white VW Polo with a pa­per reg­is­tra­tion stuck in the rear wind­screen.

A case was not opened at the Richards Bay po­lice sta­tion, so po­lice of­fi­cers are un­able to in­ves­ti­gate.

‘We urge peo­ple to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the SAPS Safety 101 tips, and to open a case should they be­come vic­tims of fraud, theft or rob­bery,’ said Richards Bay SAPS Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer, Cap­tain Deb­bie Fer­reira.

ATM tips in­clude never in­sert­ing a card un­til prompted to do so by the ma­chine, never us­ing an ATM with a blank screen or one in a poorly lit area, stand­ing close to the ATM to shield your PIN, and never ac­cept­ing help from strangers.

‘Fi­nally, if vic­tims of any kind of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity do not re­port the in­ci­dent to the po­lice, we can­not in­ves­ti­gate it, nor pre­vent the crim­i­nals from do­ing the same thing to other in­no­cent peo­ple in the fu­ture,’ said Fer­reira.

‘We urge all vic­tims of crime to open cases.’

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