Criminals are using another new method to gain information and steal money from unsuspecting people.A Pietermaritzburg resident who was a victim of the scam is cautioning the public after he had money extracted from his account.Last week, Nedbank issued an alert to their customers on Facebook about the latest scam.“If you get an ‘Approve-it’ message or one-time password for a transaction that you have not requested, decline the ‘Approve-it’ message or call us immediately,” said Nedbank.The alert came a little too late for a local resident after his account was hacked and scammers gained access to his cellphone number.“Last Monday I called Nedbank applying for their Greenbacks Shop card. The consultant who processed my application said somebody will call me to activate the shopping card.”The resident said the following day he received a call from a scammer who called under the guise of being a Nedbank employee. “I didn’t become suspicious immediately. He sounded legit and even asked to verify all the security questions. The incoming number was also similar to the Nedbank number. The consultant said he was calling to activate my Greenbacks shop card.”The unsuspecting resident said the consultant asked for his banking details, including his daily withdrawal limit.“I told him my limit was R3 000 a day. He then said he will send an SMS and I need to respond by pressing the number one to activate the new card.“I followed all the prompts. He sent two SMSes which I replied to as directed and then he told me the card had been activated.”The bogus consultant told him to go and collect his card at a nearest Nedbank branch in two days.“After putting the phone down I checked the SMSes and they were not there. The approve-it messages didn’t get saved. Once I had responded they were gone. The only messages I had were withdrawal notifications.”The resident said he first had R1 000 withdrawn from his account and then another R700.Immediately after the withdrawals he said he received another call.“A female consultant asked if I had made a payment to Easypay. I explained that I had received a call from Nedbank and all of a sudden had money withdrawn from my account.”He said the female consultant told him not to report the scam and assured him the card had been blocked.“She told me not to report it because she had picked up that my account was hacked into. She said she had already blocked my card and gave me a reference number.”That same day, the resident decided to call Nedbank directly to query what had happened.“I called the fraud division and they told me the female consultant was also working with the scammers. They told me my cards were still active but they immediately blocked them,” he said.Lucas Venter, senior manager of analytics and forensics at Nedbank Group Risk, said there are a number of variations of the scam that fraudsters use to get the information needed to conduct transactions on victims’ accounts.“In the latest ‘phishing’ scams we have seen fraudsters posing as Nedbank employees and contacting Nedbank clients to offer them assistance with converting their Greenbacks rewards into cash.”Venter warned clients to always ensure that they read messages they receive. “Don’t trust caller identity — a fraudster can make use of number-masking software to make it seem as if you are receiving a call from Nedbank when you actually aren’t,” Venter said.