Internet, ATM fraud on the increase

An increasing number of internet fraud cases, as well as ATM fraud have been reported to the Hartbeespoort police the past month.

Most of the cases relate to goods purchased on the internet and people being scammed at ATMs.
A resident in Syferfontein lost money after depositing money to obtain a loan.

A Melodie resident ‘applied’ for a relief grant and was told to pay a deposit in order te get the grant.

An Ifafi resident lost money when he paid a deposit for face masks advertised on Facebook, and never received the face masks.

A man in Kosmos paid a deposit for a pump advertised on the internet and realised it was a scam when he did not receive the pump purchased.

Another Ifafi resident was robbed of money after paying to buy shares and discovering it was a scam. Other fraud cases include cash fraudulently withdrawn from accounts and ATM fraud.

“We warn members of the public to be extremely careful when shopping online and when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Make use of reliable websites when doing your online shopping. Do a bit of research before you buy and be extremely careful when buying products advertised by private people on Facebook,” said Romano van der Spuy, chairman of the Hartbeespoort community policing forum.

“We also want to warn people to be very alert when doing ATM transactions. Criminals lurk nearby and use any excuse to get close to you while busy with your transaction. Often, a person’s card get stuck and the criminal offer help. In these cases, cards are usually stolen or cloned and money is withdrawn from the account soon after. Rather use a till point at supermarkets to withdraw money if you feel unsafe at ATMs,” he said.