Cape Town - Fin24 users have expressed rage and frustration after being scammed out of hundreds of thousands of rands from Absa Group [JSE:ASA], Nedbank Group [JSE:NED] and Standard Bank Group [JSE:SBK] in cases often involving SIM swaps with Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD] and MTN Group [JSE:MTN].
Fin24 was bombarded with emails telling tales of SIM swap fraud, with clients losing out on their salaries and savings.
This followed a report on Tuesday that Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman lost R360 000 in what appears to be a SIM swap syndicate.
Several victims have since gone public with their ordeal.
Absa and Vodacom
After losing over R44 000 on Saturday, user K Pillay wrote in to Fin24 asking a burning question: "Are Absa clients safe any more, or should we consider just moving to another bank?"
Also taking a swipe at Absa, Beaulinda Meyering claimed "Absa is bad with fraud".
She explained that after a fraudulent SIM swap was done with Vodacom, R50 000 was transferred from her credit card to her cheque account and before Absa could stop it, R15 000 went missing.
A probe by Absa found it was her fault and she was therefore not refunded.
Meyering said that when she filed a report at the police station, the police officer told her that "Absa internet banking is the worst of all banks" because they have had several cases of fraud from the bank.
Madelein Herselman said she was defrauded in Mafikeng and the case also related to a SIM swap.
"After forensic investigations... Vodacom and Absa both advised me in writing that they will not accept responsibility for the loss.
"Vodacom offered a percentage in order to close the case, which I did not accept, and Absa just stuck to their story that I gave out my PIN," claimed Herselman.
User Reynhardt Pitout is in limbo, pending an Absa probe.
He received a notification stating that PayPal is reserving an amount of R4 134.32 for a purchase on www.everbuying.com.
"I immediately realised that something was wrong so I phoned Absa and stopped my card. They are currently investigating the matter to see if they can stop the transaction."
After being scammed, user K V Dahya decided to take further action by seeking the ombudsman's help.
"I have written to the ombudsman for banking services and they claim they are waiting for a response from Absa," said Dahya.
He stated that although Absa refuted the claim, the bank engaged the services of a forensic computer analyst to “clear” his computer.
Although being a user of the Cell C network, Rob Ermes was also not spared theft from his Absa banking account.
Having lost R180 000 in April last year, he also approached the ombudsman for recourse.
After almost a full year of investigations, he was told that there was no problem with bank security.
He claims his loss was an "inside job" and is now pursuing legal action.
User Johannes Moate is one of the lucky few who wrote in to Fin24.
He experienced a positive outcome after his father was scammed.
"My father had R70 000 withdrawn from his Standard Bank account without his knowledge.
"He received an sms notifying him that R40 000 was drawn and later R30 000 was withdrawn," he said. This took place at Atteridgeville and Menlyn in Pretoria.
Moate said that a case of fraud was opened.
"It took almost two weeks and all his money was returned to his account... I mean the whole R70 000.
"The bank apologised but I must say I was really impressed with the way they managed to deal with the whole situation."
Recalling his ordeal in 2007, user Clifford Dennison said he had to block four Nedbank cards because of theft.
He wrote that between R25 000 to R30 000 per day was withdrawn from his Nedbank savings account.
"I reported this to Nedbank the first time I noticed my bank balance was low. They blocked the first card and believe you me, three other cards thereafter."
Despite it being years later, Dennison said that he is still baffled by the incident.
"I'm still puzzled as to how it happened that cash exceeding my daily limit of R3 000 and purchases could be made at different outlets with a savings card in the region of R176 000 plus."
He said that after blocking four cards, transactions were still being made. He therefore requested that his remaining balance be transferred into his wife's account.
However, during this process a further R8 500 was stolen. "This is the time I was told that it's an inside job", he wrote.
More news from SIM swap victims.
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