Bank staffer helps client with tech, brazenly steals her cash at ATM

2019-08-14 06:00

A HOWICK woman is furious after money was allegedly taken from her account by a First National Bank staffer just after she had visited the bank’s Liberty Midlands Mall branch.

Yurika Gopee has opened a case of fraud after a consultant at the FNB branch, who had just helped her set up SMS notifications, allegedly transferred R600 from Gopee’s account to her e-Wallet and then withdrew it at the ATM right outside the branch.

Gopee told The Witness that the consultant had helped her to set up SMS notifications for when she withdraws from her account because she recently got a new cellphone number. The staff member then offered to help her to set up her cellphone banking.

“I was reluctant, but he assured me that it was safe,” Gopee said.

When she got home later that day, Gopee was “horrified” to find an SMS saying that money had been sent to her e-Wallet. Gopee suspects the consultant sent money from her own account to her e-Wallet, then withdrew that amount at the ATM.

An e-Wallet withdrawal can be made without a bank card, but a PIN number is needed. “He would have had my pin number and my cellphone number and all my details,” she said.

“I reported [what had happened] at the branch and the funds were traced to a withdrawal at an ATM outside the branch. I was told I would be fully reimbursed and that the branch would investigate what happened.”

Gopee was later told that FNB had taken action against that staff member, and that he is not working at the bank at the moment. She said she was told that he was seen making the withdrawal on CCTV footage.

“But I still want him to be charged. Other people could have been caught by this. He was so confident to do it at an ATM right outside,” she added.

FNB spokesperson Lee-Anne van Zyl said an internal investigation is under way into allegations of fraud.

“Despite our pending internal investigation, we can confirm that the customer will be refunded.

“FNB has a zero tolerance approach to misconduct. Due to client confidentiality, the bank cannot provide any further details on the matter,” she added.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed a case of fraud is being investigated.

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