Police warn of new ATM fiddle

2011-07-20 00:00

POLICE have warned ATM users to be extra cautious when using the facility since a spate of robberies have been reported.

A Phoenix pensioner, 66-year-old Jay Moodley, was the most recent victim when his money was snatched after he abandoned a “faulty” ATM in Mt Edgecombe.

Moodley said the ATM did not release the cash or return his card after registering his transaction.

After returning from trying to get help, Moodley said he discovered his card had been stolen and the money withdrawn.

“I went to call the security guard, but it was gone when I went back,” Moodley said.

He was later informed by the bank that the maximum amount had been withdrawn from his account.

In a separate incident, also in Phoenix, Trenance Manor resident Dinesh Reddy said he had finished withdrawing money when he was tapped on the shoulder and notified about money on the floor.

“When I looked down I saw a R5 coin,” said Reddy. “I bent down and picked it up and when I looked up my card was out.

“I took it and was walking away when I saw it wasn’t mine and had someone else’s signature.”

Reddy cancelled the card before any cash was withdrawn.

Other scams occurring in greater Durban are more elaborate.

Berea police spokesperson Warrant Officer Noor Mahomed said some ATM machines have been tampered with, resulting in losses to the users.

“We have received reports that scam artists have been swapping the cancel button with the confirm button at ATM points. This swap results in the machine performing the opposite action of what you require. In other words, if you want to cancel a transaction and the buttons have been swapped, the cancel button will act as the confirm button and the transaction will go through.”

Mahomed said that when victims frantically try to stop the incorrect transaction, the machine sometimes jams.

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