ATM card thief strikes in Kingsburgh

A woman who was robbed of her ATM card at a Winklespruit mall last week warns other to be extra vigilant.

Elize Potgieter went to the Absa ATM at Kingsburgh Mall to withdraw money at about 7am on Tuesday, 27 February. “It was quiet, with only a few people around. I tried to put my card in but it got stuck,” she said. “My first thought was to take it and go but I really needed to draw money.

The next minute a hand came around me and pressed a button on the machine. I don’t know where he came from. I turned to the man and told him I could manage on my own and he should leave me alone. I tried to put in my PIN number but the machine wouldn’t allow me to continue, as my card was already gone.”

Elize said the man immediately went to the Standard Bank ATM and withdrew R1,000. She phoned the bank to cancel her card but it was already too late. Fortunately her daily limit had been set at R1,000 so that was all he could steal.

READ ALSO: Amanzimtoti ATM card thieves collared with bullet-riddled getaway car

She spent an hour at the bank and had a runaround with the police to sort it all out. “The woman at the bank said they have had several cases of ATM theft at the Kingsburgh Centre. They were very helpful at the bank but not at the police station.

There was a security guard standing about three feet away from me at the time but this still happened. There is no-one more attentive than me but these guys are masters. I warn people to be extra careful, especially soon after pay day, as this is when they tend to hang around the ATMs. I immediately thought of all the pensioners who use the mall’s ATMs.

READ ALSO: ATM bombed at Winklespruit mall

It is such an inconvenience. They pray on the unsuspecting public. Thinking about it afterwards, I felt so mad and I started to doubt myself. If your card doesn’t want to go in, rather remove it and walk away. Also rather have someone with you when you go to withdraw money. You think the ATMs at malls are safe but they aren’t.”


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Earl Baillache

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