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'It's daylight robbery'

By unknown | Mar 15, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

WHEN was the last time you checked your bank statements?

WHEN was the last time you checked your bank statements?

It really does not take that long, but the exercise might help you recover lost money.

Karabo Oliphant was shocked when he realised that a company called 0861 Homeloan was charging him R200 a month without his permission.

Luckily for Oliphant he checks his bank statement every month.

"I was checking my bank statements as I always do when I noticed an unauthorised debit order going out of my account," Oliphant said.

He said as far as he was concerned the company was stealing from him because he had never dealt or signed any contract with them

" I don't know them and I have not signed any contract with them and I do not recall speaking with anyone from this company," Oliphant said.

"But if they did call to solicit me I certainly did not give them permission to debit my account and I do not give my bank details to strangers or over the phone."

He said it all began in August 2009 when he wanted to buy his uncle's house.

Last July, when he was in the process of buying the house, he completed an offer to purchase and attached to it his three months bank statement, pay slip and identity document to facilitate the bond application.

The documents were later submitted to First National Banks, but his application was turned down due to affordability ratings, Oliphant said.

A month later he noticed that a debit order from his account was going to 0861 Homeloan.

"My bank, FNB, does not want to help me and the banking ombudsman has referred me back to my unhelpful bank," Oliphant said.

"I need your help. I want 0861 Homeloan to refund my money," Oliphant said.

The company has deducted R1400 without his authorisation, Oliphant said.

Amanda Potgieter of 0861 Homeloans said they were investigating Oliphant's complaint and that they would respond to the complaint when the investigations were completed.


lChecking your bank statements will help you note if there are any recurring charges or debit orders that you don't know about.

l If you do find erroneous charges, approach your bank for clarity.

Your bank will be able to give you the names and contact details of the company that is debiting your account without your knowledge.

lBe polite to the bank representatives because they have the ability to help you and want to help you to keep your business.

lRemember debit cards, like credit cards, can be used fraudulently and should be protected just like your cash. If a thief steals your PIN or counterfeits your signature, the thief could use your card for up to your daily-spending limit.

lIf you do not discover the fraud immediately, the thief could wipe out all the money in your bank account as well as any overdraft line of credit or savings-linked overdraft protection that you have.

lIf your card is used without your consent, dispute the unauthorised use with your bank so that they can investigate your complaint.

lIf there is not sufficient proof that your card was used fraudulently, you could be liable for the entire amount in dispute.

ote that it is not necessary for a crook to have your card in order to defraud you. With only a debit or credit card number, a thief can steal from your account by making purchases online or by telephone.

lAs a protection against fraud, the billing address and telephone number you provide during the ordering process must exactly match the bank's records in order for the charge to be approved.

l Some receipts have your account number printed on them, so guard all your receipts carefully. Tear them up or shred them into tiny bits when you no longer need them.


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