Eenhana – The Ohangwena police have recorded a huge increase in fraud cases, with 63 recorded during April, May and June.
Crime investigations coordinator Zacharia Amakali said many victims have lost their money after funds were withdrawn from their bank accounts without them giving their particulars to the fraudsters. In May, 30 victims reported cases to the police worth N$79 417, while 23 cases were reported in April involving an amount of N$60 697.
Ten cases were reported in June with the monetary value of N$14 687.
Amakali told New Era, in some instances, the fraudsters pretend to assist their unsuspecting victims to deposit money at ATMs but instead deposit it into other accounts.
“They also pretend to be assisting victims to withdraw money from e-wallet accounts and tricked them into that the machines rejected the transaction and that they can request another one-time-pin.
At the same time, the fraudster sends the first pin to an acquaintance who will then withdraw the money at another ATM at a different location in the same or different town.”
In other instances, the victims will discover funds disappeared from the account and when they visit the respective banks, they learn that the money was withdrawn through easy-wallet or e-wallet or used as post-payment in the shops.
He urged the public to protect their money and should not ask or accept strangers to assist them at ATMs.
They should also not give information through the phone to callers claiming to be bank officials but rather to physically visit the banking institutions.
“There is a need for banks to provide officials to render assistance to their clients who find it difficult to withdraw money from wallet accounts,” he said.
Amakali added that there is a need for banks to upgrade their systems to make it difficult for fraudsters not to open bank apps on other people’s accounts.
Banks should further make it impossible to link more than one cell phone number to the bank account, which makes it easy for thieves to withdraw money from victims’ accounts.