LEPHALALE — “Do not be a victim of the latest ATM scam”. WO Frans Mokoena, Lephalale SAPS spokesperson, warned community members on Saturday 1 October that criminals are getting more creative every day.
Criminals approach people standing in ATM queues and smear cream on their arm before walking away. Next another person shows up, asking the victim if they realize that someone has smeared something on their arm – marking them. They then tell the victim that there is a police car nearby and the police will help stop them from being robbed of all the money in their bank account because they have now been targeted.
W.O. Mokoena says the “police car” that they refer to is unmarked, but the people inside the car are dressed like police officers. They show a “police ID card” to the victim who then gets into the car. The ID card is actually a fire arm license card with a small police emblem on it.
The “police officers” tell the victim that they are going to a destination where they can rectify their bank account. While driving they tell the victim that they have to check if their money (that was withdrawn at the ATM) is the correct amount. They count the money and put it in an envelope. In the meantime, they have another envelope in the car, filled with pieces of newspaper – they then simply swop the envelopes.
The criminals drop the victim somewhere and tell them to go home without opening the envelope.
WO Mokoena warns the community that there is no way that money can disappear from your account by someone smearing something on your arm. “Please contact the police immediately if you are in a similar situation of if you know someone who was a victim of this scam” he says.