EBank warns of fraudulent behaviour
EBank has warned the public of several banking and financial sector scams that are currently taking place. Fraudsters call or SMS members of the public claiming to offer services or sell goods based upon a deposit to be paid into an EBank account. Once the deposit is made, the fraudsters disappear without providing the goods or services promised.
“We have experienced a few cases where members of the public are tricked into handing over their hard earned money to these con-artists” said Jerry Elago, EBank’s Public Liaison Officer. “This is a concerning trend and we would like to warn ALL members of the public to be on the lookout for such scams and always be vigilant when engaging in any such transactions”, he added.
One such scam involves the sale of goods, such as cars or cattle, advertised in the newspapers and on social media platforms. On calling the number advertised, the potential buyer is asked to deposit an amount into the ‘seller’s’ EBank account using a (legitimate) 8-digit EBank ECode at a participating EBank retailer. Once deposited at the retailer, the money is immediately transferred into the ‘seller’s’ account, whereupon the fraudster disappears without the exchange of the promised goods or services.
“We have also experienced a number of cases regarding bail money payments for trial awaiting prisoners. Family members are notified that a relative is in jail and request for urgent bail payment using an EBank ECode provided by the fraudster. Upon doing the deposit, the money disappears and no bail is settled or granted,” explains Mr Elago. “Sometimes the relative is not even in jail but the family are deceived into believing so.”
More recently, scams have focused on individuals who have lost their loved ones and have placed an advert in the local newspapers for a tombstone unveiling or a death or funeral announcement. Once again the fraudsters will call the family and introduce themselves as employees of a reputable financial institution, bank or insurance company. They request for a deposit to be done into an EBank account in order for a funeral policy or death benefit claim in the name of the deceased to be paid out.
EBank has urged its clients and the general public to be vigilant at all times, specifically noting the following:
Do not deposit money into any bank account in return for goods without knowing the seller and having the goods in front of you.
Be cautious in all cases where you are requested to deposit funds using an ECode supplied by someone unknown to you.
If you have been called by someone claiming to be from a bank or insurance company, first call that company and check the legitimacy of that policy or benefit, as well as the credentials of the person who called you.
If in doubt or if you suspect you may have been defrauded, call the EBank Client Service Centre on 061 297 11 00 for assistance.