Capitec client loses R11 000 in SIM swap fraud

 (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

A Fin24 user was left disappointed after Capitec was unable to pay back money that was stolen from her account. Portia Mchunu writes:

"On the 22-12-16 I was working night shift and when I finished in the morning I noticed on my Capitec App that R100, R4 900 and R5 000 went out of my account."

She immediately went to the bank and was informed that the money was withdrawn in Durban by a Capitec card holder. An investigation ensued.

When she asked how long the matter will be resolved because she needed that money, she was told that she would be contacted.

"This money is for my child to register as he was in matric this year and I desperately need it."

However, when she realised that the same person also bought electricity worth R1 000 from her other account, she went back to the bank.

"To me this is an inside job because no one knows I have three accounts on that Capitec card. I did not give my pin to anyone."

She added apparently a SIM swap was done on the phone that she registered with Capitec.

"I don’t know if these people work with Vodacom staff or what. The other phone that was not registered at Capitec was working."

Fin24 contacted Capitec for a response. It found as follows:

Capitec said Mchunu was a victim of Mobile Banking fraud, also known as smishing, that took place on 22 and 23 December 2016.  

"A SIM swap was done fraudulently at her cell phone network provider without her knowledge, and her mobile banking security PIN was compromised.  The fraudsters then used the USSD based mobile banking (not the Capitec Bank App) to gain access to her accounts," said Capitec.

It explained that USSD Mobile Banking is a platform on which clients are able to transact using *120*3279#.  They are able to transfer money between Capitec Bank accounts, view account balances, purchase prepaid electricity and airtime and also access the Credit Facility.  Capitec said this is similar to USSD banking solutions offered by other banks and makes cell phone banking possible to clients who do not have a smartphone.

"The safeguarding of a client’s bank card, SIM card and personalised PIN numbers remains the client’s responsibility, and Capitec Bank is therefore unfortunately not able to compensate the client for this loss."  

Capitec said that it conducted their investigations according to the Code of Banking Practice, as well as the guidelines provided by the Ombudsman for Banking Services.

"It is important for consumers to note that this type of fraud can only be committed when personal information (PIN numbers) are divulged. Capitec Bank will never ask a client over the phone, e-mail or otherwise to share their secret PIN and clients should never share this information with any third party."

Capitec noted that the recipient/fraudster’s account was closed after Mchunu reported the fraud to the bank.

"The client has been advised to open a case with SAPS for them to conduct a criminal investigation.  The SAPS will be able to obtain information on the fraudster from Capitec Bank (Forensics department) which will aid them in their investigation, via a Section 205 subpoena, in order to assist them in tracking down the actual fraudster(s) involved." 

Mchunu remains unhappy with Capitec's feedback and she has been referred to the Ombudsman for Banking.

The Ombudsman contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 011-712-1800
Share call: 0860 800 900

Disclaimer: All letters and comments published in Fin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

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