If you receive an SMS that appears to be from the banking ombudsman, notifying you that your complaint has been successful and that your bank has paid funds to the ombudsman’s office, don’t respond. It’s a scam, probably aimed at gleaning your personal information, such as your bank account details.

Advocate Clive Pillay, the Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS), says his office would never send an SMS to notify a complainant of a reimbursement. And if you were a successful complainant and a reimbursement was due to you, your bank would never make payment to the ombudsman’s office.

“Badly written, bogus SMSes”, which purport to be from the OBS and promise bank refunds to people who are not complainants, were not generated by the OBS, Pillay says.

He says the SMSes claim that the bank has paid funds to the OBS, the ombudsman or to Clive Pillay. They further advise the recipient that he or she will be informed when to collect their money from the OBS.

Pillay says that if you receive such a message, ignore it or contact his office on 011 712 1800 or 0860 800 900. You can also send a fax to 011 483 3212 or an email to [email protected]