Investigations are under way after a local resident found herself helpless, as money was withdrawn from her bank account without her consent in Polokwane on Friday.
The victim, Karen Botha, stopped at a filling station in Ladanna to withdraw money for a few items she would need over the weekend, Review Online reported.
“Upon my first attempt to withdraw money, the ATM ejected my card before finalising the transaction,” Botha said.
“Before I could retrieve my card, an unknown man pushed my card back into the machine, demanding that I try the transaction again and enter my cellphone number and ATM pin into the machine,” she said.
According to Botha, the man said the ATM had done the same thing with his card, but by following the steps he had given her, he was able to withdraw money.
“Even though it sounded odd, I believed him when he showed me the money in his hand,” she said
Botha said the second attempt also failed.
She added it appeared her card was “swallowed” by the ATM.
She immediately wanted to go to her bank to get a new card, but was unable to drive away, as the same man who had “helped” her, had parked his vehicle in such a way that prohibited her from leaving the filling station.
“I asked him to move his vehicle, but he ignored me. He only moved after another man approached us and asked what the problem was and demanded the man move his vehicle.”
Botha said on her way to the bank, she received bank notifications stating money was being withdrawn from her account.
Upon arriving at the bank to report the incident, Botha was shown a stack of complaint forms of similar cases that took place across the city in the same week.
First National Bank consultant Zendi Mabulelane said there had been several complaints lodged in the past week, and the complaints have been transferred to the FNB fraud line for investigation.
Mabulelane said in cases such as Botha’s, the findings of the investigation will determine whether the bank will refund people who fell victim to the scam but that the investigation may take a while.
She urged residents to add their bank’s direct fraud-line number to their contact list and to ensure they know how to stop their card in case of emergency.
– Caxton News Service