PIN phisher caught at ATM

2011-09-09 00:00

AN Imbali man, Mzwandile Bhengu (45),fought and captured a fraudster who almost robbed him of his money during an attempted ATM scam at the Laager Centre in central Pietermaritzburg yesterday morning.

Telling the story from the Jabu Ndlovu Street police station, Bhengu said he was on his way to work when he stopped at Laager Centre to withdraw money.

“When I got to the FNB ATM there were four people in front of me in the queue.

“But when the man who was at the machine finished, he said loudly that the ATM didn’t have money,” he said.

He told The Witness that when the other people left the ATM the man behind him advised him to use the ATM because it showed no sign that it was out of order.

“When I got to the machine he stood next to me and I punched in my PIN number. I checked my balance, but I decided not to withdraw money and I cancelled the transaction.

“But he then told me to insert my card again … this time it jammed.

“That’s when he said he would assist me.

“He took my card and I noticed him swiping it in a black device he had in his right hand.”

Bhengu (45) said he immediately became suspicious.

In a fit of anger he wrestled the fraudster to the ground. There were no security guards near the ATMs, but the man was arrested.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said the police were called to the scene and they arrested the man.

They confiscated a card scanning device, cellphone, a notebook page with a series of numbers written on it and six cards.

The police on the scene said that digital fraudsters “phish” in a variety of ways for a person’s password, or in the case of automated tellers, a PIN code.

They then only have to swipe a bank card through the small scanner and transfer the phished data on to fake cards to withdraw your money using the victim’s PIN code.

The police appeal to people to be vigilant when they use ATMs. They advise: hide the keys with your hand when typing in the pin and never accept help from strangers.

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