Thugs cloning bank cards are active in Secunda

Card cloners are active in the area. STOCK PHOTO

SECUNDA – Criminals cloning bank cards and stealing money have been very active in Secunda since late May.

Warnings on social media have been posted every weekend to inform ATM users to beware of card cloners and devices at ATMs.

The criminals insert a device in the slot where you insert your bank card to withdraw money.

These devices are not easily spotted. When you punch in your PIN number, the device picks it up. The person withdrawing the money will often have a problem getting his card out.

He will then go into the bank, by which time the scammer had removed the original card and device from the ATM.

In other cases, only the information on the bank cards are stolen and then reproduced on counterfeit cards.

A Secunda resident whose card and information were stolen at Standard Bank ATM in the CBD on 25 May, lost more than R11 500 before the bank was alerted some two hours later.

The victim’s card was used to withdraw money at Absa and to buy goods at Checkers Hyper.

Employees at OK Friendly Grocer at the Senecta shopping centre smelled a rat when the criminals tried to buy goods with the victim’s card. The name on the card was that of a white male, while the person using the card did not match the description.

The card cloners fled the centre in a white Citi Golf and a silver Mazda 626.

Also read: Police warn Govan Mbeki municipal residents to be more vigilant against scams and fraud

The newspaper reported that Leandra Police arrested two suspects with fraudulent bank cards that same day with the help of HABPS. Those suspects were caught in a stolen Ford Figo that was spotted at an ATM in Kinross.

The police found bank cards and cell phones in the suspects’ possession and learnt that the vehicle was stolen in Honeydew in January. Their two fellow suspects got away.

It has not yet been confirmed that these two cases are related.

Since that incident, the police have issued several warnings that ATM users should try to avoid withdrawing money after hours.

Capt Bettina Zondo said people have been scammed in other ways as well.

“In some cases, the criminals have cloned the card information only.

“The card holder does get back his card, but all the information has been stolen and reproduced onto another card that they then use to withdraw money from their victim’s bank account.”Capt Zondo said old people are often the victims of choice at an ATM.

“The criminal will offer to assist the person who seemed to struggle to use the ATM, but instead of helping, they will be defrauding the aged.”

Capt Zondo advised that anyone who must withdraw money from an ATM, do so with caution.

“If at all possible, rather go inside the bank. If this is not possible, try to avoid withdrawing money after hours and only use an ATM where a security guard is present.

“Take someone you trust with you to the ATM and do not accept help from strangers.”

She said this form of crime is mushrooming in the area and some people do not even report it anymore to the police.

Members of the CPF’s Sector 4 group, along with workers from Campbell Refactors, GNF Rigging and SSS Security pooled about R2 000 with which Mr Chris Fourie bought food for the man and his family who lost the R11 000 on 25 May.

“It is not much, but we believe it will alleviate at least a bit of their burden,” he said.

  AUTHOR
Arisja Misselhorn

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