ATM robberies on the rise

2016-03-15 06:00

THE Hillcrest SAPS and security companies have warned bank customers to beware of ATM criminals who are targeting customers in broad daylight in Waterfall.

Blue Security operations manager Brian Jackson said ATM fraudsters had nearly escaped with large sums of cash at incidents reported at shopping centres recently.

Jackson said a second incident was reported last week in Waterfall where an ATM fraudster was arrested after robbing a woman of her card in a card-swopping incident.

“He fled with her card and withdrew R1 900 from another ATM, but an alert security guard arrested him and recovered the cash, which he gave back to the woman,” he said.

Jackson advised bank customers to be vigilant, especially over weekend and month-end periods when criminals seek to rob workers and business owners.

“Avoid withdrawing cash at night and always be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. Rather move to another ATM if anyone waiting in the queue behind you acts suspiciously or makes you feel uncomfortable.

“Never accept assistance from a ‘friendly stranger’ if your card gets stuck or the machine appears to be offline, as criminals sometimes deliberately jam the machine,” he said.

“Criminals also try to ‘shoulder surf’ to see a customer’s PIN number and then, while offering to ‘help’, they grab the card from the machine.”

Jackson advised bank customers to immediately report stolen cards to their bank before leaving the ATM to prevent criminals from withdrawing cash from their account.

Hillcrest SAPS communications officer constable N Manqele confirmed the incident and said it is still under investigation.

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