More than R300 000 snared in fraud web

Thuli Zungu

Thuli Zungu

Ndoyisile Mfiki, a First National Bank client, has been robbed of more than R330 000.

Mfiki had a miserable New Year's day after he discovered that the money from his R352 888 pension, paid out last month, had been withdrawn.

FNB has confirmed that they are investigating the matter.

Mfiki took early retirement because of ill health in October and cashed in his pension fund.

The lump sum was deposited into his account on December 14, he said.

"Four days after getting an SMS notifying me about the deposit of the pension payout, I withdrew R20000, leaving a balance of R332 888," he said.

Mfiki said after making the withdrawal he did not get an SMS message from the bank as usual.

Though this was strange, he did not notify the bank, thinking that the networks were congested and that he would get a message later.

Ten days later he went to his branch to withdraw R1000 and discovered that he only had a balance of R500.

"I could not believe it, I thought it was a bad dream.

"I almost collapsed when the teller told me it had been transferred to someone else through Internet banking," he said.

Mfiki said he had not activated his Internet banking facility and claimed that he would not have activated it even if he knew how to do so.

But a fraudster did activate Mfiki's online banking facility. He also used a fake cellphone number so Mfiki would not receive SMSes from the bank.

The bank official who helped him assured him that it would be resolved within 24 hours.

"The bank has now told me I must wait for three months before it can refund me. I have needs, my life cannot be put on hold because of their investigation.

"There are registration fees to pay and books to buy for my children who are at university," said Mfiki.

He said he would have gone berserk if he did not have a supportive wife and family.

"I wish this bank should stop dragging their feet and resolve this in the same speed that my money left my account," he said.