The former governor of the Reserve Bank Tito Mboweni has warned South Africans to be on the alert whenever they make a transaction with ATM machines in any part of the country.
The former governor gave this warning after he was was duped out of R5 000, on Thursday at Shell and Caltex petrol stations, N1, Midrand.
Narrating his ordeal on Twitter embittered Mboweni said he lost his card after he slotted it in and 10 minutes later, R5k withdrawn.
“Be alert at the ATMs at Shell and Caltex petrol stations, N1, Midrand. Just been duped and lost my card and 10 minutes later, R5k withdrawn,” he wrote.
Tito Mboweni tweeted a second time: “There is an ATM thug operating there. He looks like a perfect gentleman; bold head (sic), and seemingly very helpful. Be warned!”
Mboweni’s alert drew some sympathy from some of his followers. South African Journalist Zikhona Tshona tweeted: “Don’t use any garage ATM, especially during this time. Sorry for your experience.”
However, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe replied with a mouthy and humourous tweet saying:
“Well @tito_mboweni THIS is becoming a habit! At least we know it wasn’t the first time you were duped. (Johann) Rupert has been doing it for years.”
The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) offers bank customers a simple and convenient way to transact 4 hours a day; without going into the bank but increased usage of ATMs has paved way for criminals to devise various scams such as card skimming, card swopping, ATM shoulder surfing and card trapping.
To avoid falling a victim, ATM users are usually advised to do the following:
- Shield the ATM keypad with your hand to prevent people seeing when you enter your PIN.
- Never disclose your PIN to anybody, not even to the bank or police.
- Press the Cancel key, withdraw your card and proceed to an alternative ATM if you feel the ATM is not functioning correctly.
- Use the help line and/or nearest phone to contact your bank and/or police if your card gets jammed, retained or lost, or if someone interferes with you at an ATM.
- Take your time when transacting and ensure your cash and card are carefully secured in your wallet, handbag or pocket before leaving the ATM
This ugly experience must have taught Mboweni that being prominent doesn’t give one immunity to being conned at an ATM.