Treat your bank account as private property, says Sabric

People should not let anyone use their bank accounts to deposit money because the money might have been fraudulently attained, the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said today.

“Unsuspecting bank account holders are being approached by people with plausible stories to allow them usage of their accounts to receive money,” said Sabric spokesperson Bongani Diako.

“What the bank account holders don’t know is that they are possibly involved in criminal activities because these types of transactions usually involve stolen money.

Legitimate bank clients’ accounts are used as a laundering vehicle,” he said.

Diako said money laundering was usually linked to other types of bank fraud, such as phishing, where money was fraudulently accessed with phished information, usually through false web links or emails.

“In the past, perpetrators used to open accounts with fraudulent documentation and they used these accounts to launder the proceeds of crime,” said Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay.

She said these individuals had increasingly resorted to using accounts opened by “good people” offering money in exchange.

“Such conduct amounts to taking part in a really serious criminal offence that can put a person in prison for a long time,” Pillay said.

People should also be wary of individuals posing as possible employers who required bank cards and PIN numbers to transfer salaries.

“Treat your bank accounts as private property that should not be shared, not even with your closest friend or family,” she said.

If a person had opened a bank account for the use of anyone other than themselves, they should notify their bank immediately to arrange the cancellation of that account.


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