“R2000 has been withdrawn from your savings account”, Without consent or request, money has been taken from one’s personal account. A shock text message which leaves its victims in disbelief, grief and financial jam.
Without one’s knowledge or permission, funds from victim’s personal bank accounts are withdrawn via a normal ATM proceeding which then reports on their phone. This usually occurs when clients attempt to withdraw cash at an ATM point and experience a certain “difficulty with the machine”. A short while after this difficulty they receive text messages reporting withdrawals done at a different location.
Nhlakanipho Lembede explains how he had experienced the worst of this criminal intent as he states that his entire salary had almost been wiped. The victim tells us that he had been requesting a withdrawal at an ATM point on Smith street, his card jammed, and he could not retrieve it as the machine was unresponsive.
At this point, he had been assisted by a person who seemed to be very kind and willing to help. “To my surprise five minutes later I received four text messages all for withdrawals two for R1 000 and one for R2 000 and this was withdrawn at 320 building on West Street, but I was trying to withdraw at Smith street”.
“I proceeded directly to the branch for assistance, who then advised that this is a regular occurrence and advised me to attain a new card. The bank name cannot be disclosed at this point however many other individuals have reported exact same situations with the exact same bank” he says.
The method used for the activity of theft herein is called the “Lebanese Loop”. The Lebanese loop is a piece of plastic which perpetrators place on the card slot area of ATM points. This piece of plastic is designed in a way such as to jam your card inside of it while you assume the machine has swallowed your card, the device is easily removable along with your card inside of it. The generous random assistant is the actual perpetrator in most cases, as he looks on to visualize your password as you panic and try inserting it multiple times.
Various other methods are used to rob innocent clients, but the most common method used is the Lebanese loop”. Banks advise that individuals should “take extra caution” when transacting at ATM points which may not be of any help. Individuals should be aware of their surroundings when withdrawing or depositing, the only assistance one should receive is that of a bank official. All suspicion should be reported immediately.