Maria Moeng claims all her savings disappeared from her bank account after she was given a new sim card. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Maria Moeng claims all her savings disappeared from her bank account after she was given a new sim card. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Woman swindled out of R16 000 in sim card scam

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Jun 4, 2021

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Pretoria - A Mabopane resident who was hoping to finish building her dream home has been taken back to square one after criminals hacked her cellphone and accessed her bank account.

They left only 72 cents in her account in just eight days.

Maria Moeng, 49, who works as a domestic worker in Wierdabrug, Centurion, said she had been left heartbroken after losing R16 000 from her FNB easy account and 32-day notice account.

Moeng said she had gone to the nearby Pick n Pay at Eldo Park Shopping Centre around noon on April 30 after work to purchase bread, when she was approached by four boys who were handing out free cellphone starter packs.

She said they then asked for her phone number to check if she qualified for some of the free prizes on offer. She then put the sim card in her phone.

The following day Moeng said she received an SMS notification that she would be receiving free SMSes for the next two months.

Moeng said she made the startling discovery that her account was empty after trying to buy tiles she needed for her home.

"I called the bank and I just couldn't understand how in just eight days all the money I had, even money from the 32-day notice account, was gone, but they could not tell me anything, aside from saying they would investigate. I've worked so hard and denied myself so many things just to be able to build myself and my daughter a decent home, and now I have to go back to square one. I even took R7 000 I got from my social savings to put towards the house and now it's gone."

Moeng said she reported the matter to the police in Loate, who then transferred it to Lyttleton and then Wierdabrug.

She said she had received no feedback from the bank and the representative assigned to her case, and it almost seemed as if she was being blamed.

"I thought keeping my money in the bank would mean it's safe from criminals but the way things happened and how the bank doesn't care I may as well have kept it under a mattress in my home."

On Tuesday, the Pretoria News contacted FNB for comment on the matter. Yesterday, the bank's media office said they would be investigating the incident and would provide an answer in due course.

Pretoria News

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