‘Neverending’ ATM fraud battle

Sea Point police have warned of ATM fraud in the area and say they have set up a task team to deal with the matter.

Sea Point police have warned residents of a number of ATM scams that have taken place in the suburb recently and have advised residents and tourists alike to be vigilant.

Captain Elizabeth Munro, spokesperson for the Sea Point police station, said most incidents took place between 6pm and 8pm and that a number of incidents had taken place at ATMs outside shoprite stores as well as the Standard Bank ATMs in Regent and St John’s roads.

Captain Munro said a task team had been set up to deal with the matter. “There are awareness campaigns in the community as well as patrols and observation duties,” she said.

“ATM fraud is a neverending battle, since there is currently no permanent solution (and) there are various techniques fraudsters use to steal.”

Captain Munro said that some of the methods included card skimming, keypad jamming, and card swopping.

Heather Tager, of the Sea Point Community Police Forum (CPF), said they were aware of and concerned about the issue.

“ATM scams seem to increase at this time of the year due to the influx of visitors as well as commencement of the holiday season and festive atmosphere.

“People must not adopt the attitude of ‘it will never happen to me’. Everyone needs to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings and adhere to campaigns being run by the CPF, SAPS and even the respective banks.”

Ms Tager advised residents to only use ATMs in safe and well-lit places and not to let their cards out of their sight. She also advised residents to never accept help from strangers and never to divulge PIN numbers, even to people claiming to be bank officials.

“As the festive season approaches and people get into that festive jolly mode, please do not let your guard down. Be ‘street smart’ at all times,” said Ms Tager.

Safety tips

Sea Point police have advised residents as well as tourists to follow these safety tips:

Do not accept any assistance from bystanders;

Be vigilant of people who approach and attempt to distract you, while you’re performing a transaction;

Use ATMs in well-lit areas where security is present;

blob When possible, use ATMs attached to banks, as they tend to have better security checks than others; and

Always wait for the ‘Welcome’ screen to be displayed as confirmation that your transaction has been completed.

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