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Crook cleans out widow's account

Pauline Tshabalala claims Nedbank is fiddling while her account burns.

Pauline Tshabalala claims Nedbank is fiddling while her account burns.

Tshabalala, a mother of two, received her late husband's insurance payout last month and a week later her account had been stripped bare by a fraudster.

Tshabalala only holds a cash withdrawal ATM card, but the fraudster used her bank details to reproduce a debit or credit card.

"That person went on a spending spree for clothes, shoes, sunglasses and other accessories worth R56000 in Sandton," said Tshabalala.

"The fraudster also withdrew R50000 over the counter in Pretoria leaving my account with a balance of R17," she said.

Tshabalala had received a death payout of R138000 from her husband's life cover on June 28 after a long battle.

She said the insurance company only agreed to settle her claim after she sought help from an attorney.

She claimed that after receiving confirmation that the money had been deposited in her account, she transferred R20000 into her attorney's trust account to pay for her legal fees.

She then withdraw R5000 and went home.

"The fraudster bought items worth R56000 at YDE, Byblos, Truworths, Deone, Europa Occhilia, Louis Vuitton, John Wilson and Timberland - designer stores that I won't buy from."

She only realised that she had been defrauded on July 9, when she went to her bank to draw cash.

Tshabalala said the teller told her that she could not withdraw any money because her card had been blocked and she had to reapply for a new one.

"This was very strange because I had not complained and there was no reason to block it," said Tshabalala.

"I almost fainted when I read my statement. I was advised to lay a fraud charge for the bank to do its own investigation."

Tshabalala was later issued with a copy of a bank statement which showed how her money had been spent.

Greg Harword of Nedbank said: "The bank's forensic investigators are working on Tshabalala's case as a priority, but I need a few more days to get a final outcome due to the complexity of the case, and will be able to respond by the end of the week."

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