Police warn against ATM, internet fraud

Muizenberg police are appealing to people to be more vigilant and to report fraud as there has been a noticeable increase in cases.

On Thursday March 10 at about 1.40pm a man lost an undisclosed amount of money while he was attempting to withdraw money at an ATM at Capricorn Shopping Centre near Vrygrond.

Muizenberg police spokesperson Captain Stephen Knapp said when the man inserted his card in the ATM machine, a strange message appeared on the ATM screen.

“The victim was then ap-proached by an unknown man who offered him assistance and a short while later, the suspect disappeared.

“On attempting to stop his card, he was informed that a large amount of money had already been withdrawn,” said Captain Knapp.

A case of fraud was opened with Muizenberg police.

“We urge the community to be extra vigilant when withdrawing money from ATMs and not to disclose their PIN to anybody,” he said.

In another incident, a woman was conned out of R30 000 after responding to an advertisement for a car and car parts for sale on the internet.

The victim was asked to deposit R30 000 to secure the purchase of an Opel Corsa GSI. After the deposit was paid, the vicitim could not make contact with the supposed salesperson.

The same modus operandi was followed when motor vehicle rims were advertised on a website and the complainant was conned out of R 4 500.

“We advise the community to please not purchase goods or pay deposits on any purchases without first investigating the authenticity of the person sell- ing the items,” said Captain Knapp.

Here are some guidelines on how to protect yourself from fraud and scams:

* Never respond to emails or cellphone messages appearing to be from your bank, which request your personal details.

Remember that no bank will ever ask you to confirm or up- date your account details by email.

* Never provide your online ID, password or PIN to anyone and never write them down or share them.

* Do not save your internet banking password on your desktop.

* Do not leave your computer unattended after you have en- tered your internet banking pass- word.

* Always log off or sign off at the end of a session.

* Avoid doing internet banking in public areas such as internet cafés, or on any computer that can be accessed by people you do not know.

* Change your PIN and passwords frequently.

* Put sensible transaction limits on your accounts.

* Only provide your credit card details to reputable companies.

* If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.

* Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.