Mall of Africa

Image by Flickr

Mall of Africa: Suspects use bank app to steal woman’s cash and savings

A victim has claimed thieves stole her cellphone at Mall of Africa before cleaning out her bank account using her banking app on her phone.

Mall of Africa

Image by Flickr

A woman has left social media users in horror after thieves allegedly snatched her cellphone at the Mall of Africa, before helping themselves to her cash via her mobile banking app last Thursday 23 September.


The woman, with the Twitter username, @Ayabulela, claims she was at the Mall of Africa, Midrand, Johannesburg, when her cellphone disappeared inside a store. The suspects moved swiftly to disable the Apple iPhone’s tracker before hacking the victim’s banking app.

“Anyway, here is a detailed thread of what happened to me so that others too can be warned,” she said on Twitter before the post went viral with over 1 000 retweets.

“I was at Mall of Africa shopping on Thursday 23 September 2021. My cellphone was in my hand the entire time until I needed to look for a specific item inside the store.”

Suddenly, the cellphone was gone. Ayabulela then had to report it stolen at Apple’s iStore and later at the police station.

“I put my cellphone in my handbag, closed it, and looked for the item. Got the item and walked to the till to pay. As I was walking towards the pay point, someone else’s iPhone rang in the store, so I thought it was mine and reached for it in my bag, but I could not find it.

“I went to the closest ATM to block my card and then ran off to the iStore so they can help me find my iPhone. We logged into my cloud and find my iPhone had already been disabled.”

Upon arriving at the police station, Ayabulela was shocked to learn that the mall was noted as a hotspot for a group of syndicate thieves.


Ayabulela felt the ordeal was over but the worst news was to follow a few hours later. While visiting her bank branch to access a new bank card so she could book a flight home, the consultant dropped some shocking news: her bank account was empty. The bank official confirmed that her money had been accessed through the bank app on her stolen cellphone at the Mall of Africa.

“The consultant assisting me says but there’s no money in your account. I tell him there is because I had money in my account, I had some savings and I got paid so my salary had reflected on Thursday evening. He shows me the accounts have been cleaned out. Literally R0. 00 on all.”

“I’m in disbelief at this point because there’s no way. He tells me all the money was transferred using my banking app, into another account that was opened on the same Thursday, then withdraw at an Atm at Mall of Africa still,” she said.

She concluded to tell Twitter users that the bank is investigating the case, and there’s a chance of getting her money refunded.