ID scam hits pensioner in the pocket

Tilo Sethlare

Tilo Sethlare

The pensioner only applied for an identity document but ended up with a bank claiming he owed them thousands of rands for a credit card and car when he does not even have both items.

Father of two Amos Mabena signed for the ID at Mohlakeng, Randfontein, satellite office.

When he went to collect the ID he was referred to Market Street in Johannesburg.

"I told this official I could not go to Johannesburg as I had applied in Mohlakeng, upon which I was requested to apply for yet another one, which I did," Mabena said.

"And when I went to check my bank statement at Absa Bank in Randfontein, I got the shock of my life because some fraudster had hacked into my banking account."

This was after Absa threatened him with legal action for failing to pay R13153,99 on his credit card. It had been issued with his ID numbers.

"The irony of it all is that although the ID number is mine, the fraudster's address is reflected as house number 2603, Extension 2 in Tshiawelo, Soweto," he said.

"Another statement reflects an overdraft of R7000 on the credit card with the address reflected on the statement as Box 2983 Eilseben, Polokwane.

"The address reflected on another statement read as PO Box 2983, Extension 65, Pietersburg. As if that was not enough, a car dealer from Polokwane's West Bank also came to my house saying he had come to repossess the Mazda 626 vehicle I had not paid for.

"I told him I had no knowledge of any vehicle and that I was a pensioner and would not qualify to buy a car ," a furious Mabena said.

He has been a pensioner since 1995 because of an injury to his spinal cord sustained while he was employed at a yarn processing company in Randfontein. He stared receiving his disability grant in 1998.

Mabena reported the matter to Absa in Randfontein, and Henline Katzke, a managing consultant, reported the matter to the bank's head office.

An Absa Bank Fraud Department official, Lorraine Maepa assured Mabena the bank would do all in its power to get to the bottom of this scam. She also said a case of fraud would be opened and the fraudulent credit card would be stopped from being used.