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Absa and Vodacom block R2 Million bank fraud victim acces

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Monica Kruger doesn’t know who is to blame for the R1.8-million loss that she suffered when fraudsters carried out an illegal SIM swop before raiding her credit card and home loan accounts to the tune of R2?million. But of one thing she is certain: it’s not her. And she has forensic evidence to prove it.

Her bank, Absa, has not been able to find evidence of any negligence or wrongdoing on her part, yet it is refusing to refund the money stolen from Kruger’s accounts.

Kruger believes that Absa and Vodacom, her mobile service provider, have in their possession vital information that will assist her in establishing who is to blame. Yet both have refused to give her the information that she believes she is entitled to.

On Monday, Kruger filed an urgent application in the South Gauteng High Court seeking an order compelling Absa and Vodacom to provide her with the information she needs to conduct an indepen­dent cyberforensic investigation into how the fraud occurred and to identify the party or parties against whom she could seek recourse. She is also asking the court to order Absa and Vodacom to properly preserve information over which they have control so that it may be used as evidence in the future.

According to Kruger’s founding affidavit, the fraud on her account took place on June 18. In the space of 32 minutes, in four transactions, more than R2?million was transferred from her credit card and home-loan accounts into her cheque account and then 80 deposits of R25?000 each were made into a Capi­tec account.

It was only a day or two later that Kruger found out she had been robbed and the true extent of her loss. She didn’t receive SMS notifications of the activity on her account or the adding of a beneficiary (the account into which the stolen funds were siphoned) because, unbeknown to her, she was also the victim of an illegal SIM swop (see How a SIM ‘flagged’ by Vodacom was swopped).

The day after the fraudulent transactions, she realised that her phone was not connecting to the network, so she contacted a Vodacom franchise, which advised her to contact her bank immediately to freeze all her accounts.

On reaching the Absa call centre, Kruger was told that her internet banking facility had already been suspended by its fraud department because of suspected fraud on her account. Her affidavit says she was shocked to learn that “almost R200?000” had been stolen from her cheque account. Fourteen hours had passed since her internet banking facility had been suspended by Absa, yet no one from her bank had contacted her about “such a serious calamity”, her affidavit says.

The following day she realised the full extent of the “calamity” – a loss of R1.8?million. Capitec was able to freeze the account into which the R2?million was paid and reverse transactions of about R204?000….
Source: Bank fraud victim fights for access to information | IOL