Be aware of call centre scams

2015-11-26 06:00
As call centre and bank fraud is on the increase, always be on the lookout for suspicious activity on your bank account.

As call centre and bank fraud is on the increase, always be on the lookout for suspicious activity on your bank account.

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A SOUTHPORT man has fallen prey to unauthorised debit orders by a cellphone company for over three years and he didn’t even notice it until the end of 2014.

Carl Liebenberg said the debit orders started going off at the beginning of 2012 and because the amounts were small, he was un- aware of it.

“Back then, I was still employed and had numerous debit orders running off my account. It was only when I retired and settled my debts that I began to notice these small amounts,” he said.

The company goes by the name of Elite Mobile and is apparently linked to Vodacom.

There are no contact details on the website besides an e-mail form and a call centre number for existing clients. Subsequently, the Fever had difficulty contacting the company for comment.

From August 2012 to February 2013, seven debits of R39 each ran off Leibenberg’s bank account. In March 2013 the amount increased to R43 and 12 transactions ran off until February 2014.

The price increased again in March 2014 to R47 and the last amount was deducted in November 2014.

“This amounts to R2 518. My bank was very helpful and immediately stopped the debit orders, however, I would like my money back and the company must be dealt with.”

Liebenberg said he referred the matter to the National Consumer Council in May, but his efforts have been in vain.

“I received a few emails from the council, but I haven’t received any worthy information on what is being done to take the company to task,” he said.

There are also numerous complaints about the company on Hello Peter, the majority of which are about unauthorised debit orders.

In a separate case, and according to Fin24, numerous banks are under fire at the moment over the R99 debit order scam.

Customers feel that financial institutions can make more of an effort to safe guard their money interests.

Special Assignment recently revealed how easy it is for companies, who operate in a call centre environment, to debit back accounts without getting caught.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre urges clients to go through their bank statements with a fine-toothed comb and bring any discrepancies to the attention of their bank immediately.

Customers must also help to protect themselves by:

• protecting your personal information at all times and be selective with whom you share it;

• subscribing to your bank’s SMS notification services - this will inform you of any transactional activity on your account; and

• reviewing your account statement regularly and query disputed transactions with your bank.

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