How daring ID books thieves have become

IDENTITY theft continues to frustrate many South Africans but what is even more upsetting is how daring the thieves have become.

Fraudsters are conning financial institutions, the Department of Home Affairs, retail outlets and law enforcement agencies.

Sello Ngema, a Gauteng government official, is now blacklisted because an unknown person has gone on a R34000 shopping spree using a copy of his ID book.

"I found out about this in January when I was looking for a house to buy," he said.

"That was when I was told that I am blacklisted. So I could not buy a house.

"I approached TransUnion, who gave me details of who blacklisted me. It was two furniture shops- one in Groblersdal and the other in Marble Hall in Mpumalanga.

"What I do not understand is how a store can process, approve and deliver goods only using an ID book copy," Ngema said.

"Even worse is that the other details, such as my bank statements, account number and employment details were false."

Another consumer, Judas Ngobeni, experienced a similar problem recently.

On July 3 he received a text message from TransUnion ITC credit report informing him that he had recently had a credit check on his profile by a furniture store.

A few days later he had another alert when a jewellery store did a credit check on him and a few days later a clothing store also checked his credit profile.

All these stores were in Johannesburg.

"All the purchased goods were ready for delivery. I had to cancel the transactions using an affidavit. I don't understand how these stores approved these transactions."

The stores have opened cases of fraud.