No justice for ‘clone’ card con

2011-12-05 00:00

MAC Anamourlis had his credit card safely in his wallet, but an SMS told him that an airline ticket had been purchased on the card.

He immediately queried this transaction with his bank, Nedbank, which told him it must have been an error.

But the next day they confirmed that someone had been using his credit card or a “cloned” card.

Anamourlis, an IT specialist, decided to investigate. He said, “I suspected they had skimmed my card or cloned it. There was a delay between the SMS and when the amount reflected on my account.”

He managed to trace the reference number of the airline ticket that was purchased and discovered a few details. The flight was booked from Cape Town to Durban for three people. It was for three days ahead, giving police and airline authorities plenty of time to apprehend the suspects. He also had the name of the purchaser (the thief) and the exact date and time of the tickets and the flight number.

A second false transaction was made for plane tickets on Kulula airline, but unfortunately no information was available.

Anamourlis cancelled his credit card and was issued with a new card.

He immediately passed the information to 1time airline staff and to the bank’s fraud department. He supplied the name of the thief and the reference number.

“I told them they were in possession of tickets bought with stolen money.

“I was really excited, because I felt that justice was finally going to happen. You hear of crime all the time and here was an opportunity to actually do something.

“I was not really worried about the money because I knew the bank would have to refund me. I wanted the criminals busted.

“I chatted to my friends and we wanted to go to the airport to watch the whole thing go down. But we are in Gauteng so we waited for news from the airline.

When I phoned to ask what happened, they told me the criminals had used the tickets — but not to worry they would pay me my money.”

Anamourlis was furious. “What is the point of trying to fight crime, when no one gives a damn about catching criminals.

“Those crooks will carry on stealing from others and the airlines and banks will just shrug and say don’t worry we’ll refund you. That’s not the point.”

He also wanted to know how they could have boarded the flight unless they had a fake identity document.

1time could not be reached for comment, but an airline staffer, who did not want to be named, said they did not handle ticket fraud and it was usually a police matter.

• trish.beaver@witness.co.za

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