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Newcastle Police are urging Newcastillians to practice caution while using local ATMs, following two fraud cases being investigated by Newcastle Detectives.
Lizzy Arumugam, the spokesperson for Newcastle Police, highlighted that both incidents took place on Saturday, 4 June 2022.
According to the Spokesperson for Newcastle Police, Lizzy Arumugam, the first incident took place at 5:05 pm at the ABSA ATM on Voortrekker Street in the CBD. She explains, “The complainant was at the ATM to withdraw cash, when an unknown male told her to use the other ATM.”
The trusting woman did so, however, her bank card was then retained by the machine. A while later, the woman received a message that an undisclosed amount of money was withdrawn from her account.
The second case took place at 5:10 pm on the same afternoon at the ABSA ATM on John Parks Avenue, Pioneer Park.
“The complainant wanted to withdraw cash, when an unknown male told her to tap her card. The complainant decided to insert her card, and nothing happened. The machine then retained her card,” Arumugam said.
Later, the woman received two messages of cash with a total value of R5 000 being withdrawn.
While police investigations are still underway, Arumugam stressed that Newcastillians should be extremely careful when withdrawing cash.
The Newcastle Police have gone as far as to provide the following safety tips:
- Be alert and conscious of your surroundings when using the ATM.
- Never give your card or PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone, for any reason.
- Don’t write your PIN on the card or anything that is kept with the card.
- Do not insert your card until asked to do so by the display screen.
- Never use an ATM with a blank screen and, if the ATM is obscured from view or poorly lit, leave immediately and find another ATM.
- Stand close to the ATM, and use your body and hand as a shield to make sure nobody sees you keying in your pin.
- Make sure you keep your hand over the card slot to make sure nobody can swap or take your card.
- Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM. You should be wary of strangers asking for help.
- Criminals work in teams- one to distract you while the other steals your card or money.
- If your card is retained (swallowed) by the ATM it is advisable to phone your bank toll-free stop card line immediately and stop your card.
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