Don’t fall prey to crooks while doing your banking

2013-10-15 00:00

THE South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has found you are more likely to be a victim of a cash robbery in Pinetown than any other region in the province.

In a national comparative analysis report released yesterday, which monitored the period between January 2012 and September 2013, Sabric found KwaZulu-Natal to have the third highest, behind the Western Cape and Gauteng, number of incidents of robbery of a person after they withdraw or before they deposit money in a bank.

CEO of Sabric Kalyani Pillay said the continuing occurrence of these robberies is a worrying factor for the banking industry as it demonstrates that “this is a highly organised crime which affects their clients”.

“The criminals work in organised syndicates and often these syndicates designate ‘spotters’ that look out for people making large cash withdrawals inside bank branches.

“Once the perpetrators identify their victims, they pass on the information to their co-perpetrators; who are usually in the vicinity of the bank, and who in turn rob the individual, either at his place of business, home or en route to their destination,” said Pillay.

Pillay said offenders use different scams to steal cash from potential victims.

“Although these incidents may be related to fraud, they can become violent if the victim realises that he or she is being defrauded. These incidents are referred to as the money bomb scam, competition scam, and muti-scam,” said Pillay.

She said the violence and tragic consequences stemming from these attacks are indicative of how serious the problem of such robberies has become.

“We are appealing to bank customers to refrain from carrying large sums of cash in order to lessen their exposure to the risk of these attacks”, Pillay.

While Sabric’s statistics indicate a 7,4% decrease of these robberies for the period January to September 2013, with 1 003 incidents as opposed to the 1 083 incidents for the same period in 2012, Pillay said anyone who carries cash to and from a bank can be affected and this includes individuals; small businesses as well as saving clubs such as stokvels.

“We advise bank customers to consider alternative methods of banking, such as using Internet or ATM transfers as opposed to carrying cash,” said Pillay.

The organisation said it will continue working with the SAPS and the banks to ensure that the number of associated robberies decrease and to ensure effective investigation of these cases.

Pillay said the public is encouraged to report suspicious activities to their local police stations or anonymously through the Crime Line tip-off number, 32211.

BASED ON SABRIC STATISTICS THE FOLLOWING AREAS ARE OF CONCERN IN KWAZULU-NATAL

Number of incidents

8 Brighton Beach

12 Durban Central

6 Berea

6 Durban North

6 Sydenham

17 Pinetown

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