Durban NGO rocked by debit-order scam

“In one instance‚ the caller complained that the debit order bounced and the account holder got charged a wack for that. Some of these people are unemployed. Some have gone back on their statements and discover the deductions go back two years.”

He said many people were understandably irate by the time they called the Durban-based NGO.

“They are not eager to supply us with their contact details and even less eager to give us their bank account details. We do not blame them for this‚ but without these details we can take the investigation no further.

“We have engaged with First National Bank and Standard Bank. FNB has been unable to assist us and we are presently in a complaint resolution process with Standard Bank‚ but we have had no success in identifying the perpetrator of this fraud.

“If this is not resolved‚ we will have to go to the ombudsman. As an NPO reliant on public goodwill‚ we cannot afford to have our good reputation tarnished with allegations like these.”

One victim‚ Secunda-based training officer Daniel Nyathela‚ told TimesLIVE that he demanded – and his bank had agreed – to reverse a debit order of R99.

“I only picked it up because I carefully go through my statements. These fraudsters know that banks do not send out SMS notifications for amounts less than R100‚” said Nyathela.

“If people don’t check their statements‚ they don’t know they are being robbed.”

Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom said: “We have not come across this so [we] will investigate.”

He said he would provide further information once it was available.

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