Photo: Adobe Stock
Photo: Adobe Stock
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga has warned residents in the province to be on the lookout for scammers who have reportedly targeted several people at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and made off with large sums of the victims’ money.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thulani Phahla, also warned against falling prey to scams becoming increasingly prevalent on social media where opportunists lure unsuspecting buyers into dodgy deals.
SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said in a statement on Tuesday 11 May that three cases of ATM scams had been opened in Vosman, with an ATM at a shopping centre in the town the centre of all three complaints.
“The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga has urged the public to be cautious and vigilant when using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as well as to be alert when buying items through social media or when using online platforms. This comes after several cases of fraud have been reported recently,” he said.
“A total of three such matters were reported at Vosman. In the first incident, a man indicated that he was using an ATM at the local shopping complex when two unknown men distracted him, he then received a notification moments later of two withdrawals from his account. He then reported the matter to the police.”
Heath said that a few days later, another similar case was reported, with the victim indicating that he had asked an unknown man to assist him at the ATM in the same shopping complex.
“After he inserted the card the suspect pressed one of the buttons as they were waiting for the money to be dispensed. The suspect then quickly removed the card and fled. The victim managed to stop the card however, an undisclosed amount of cash had already been withdrawn from his account,” said Hlathi.
Vosman residents seem to be particularly prone to the schemes of scam artists, with another man reported to have deposited “a large amount of cash into the account of an unknown man who sells cars through social media”.
“The man then realised that he has been scammed after he was asked by the seller for another deposit. He then reported the matter to the police,” said Hlathi.
All these cases are currently under investigation, and police have now called on members of the public with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects to contact Colonel One Thobejane at 082 372 2195, or call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111.