Victim of fraud at Meerensee ATM
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my husband to let him know what had happened and he told me he had received SMSs informing him that money had been withdrawn.’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.’