A 49-year-old man, who is already in custody at St Albans Prison in Port Elizabeth, has been charged as the 13th suspect of an alleged ATM card-swapping syndicate, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said on Wednesday.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Anelisa Feni said the man, who is in prison for an unrelated case, was charged with fraud last week Wednesday.
Feni said, in the card scam matter, the man was expected to appear before the New Law Court in Port Elizabeth in January 2017. It is alleged the suspect conducted card-swapping at various ATM machines around Port Elizabeth in 2015.
The other suspects were named as Luthando Ngesi, Linda Aba, Simpiwe Bulelani Twalo, Bruce Lee Mawela, Luthando Mfini, Lazola Mjekula, Sandile Sicolo, Ntsikelelo Giba, Mzimkhulu Mqaba, Caroline Bundwini, Siviwe Mpapela and Lungile Anthony Bill.
Feni cautioned the public to be “extra vigilant” during the festive season when ATM card-swapping crimes are most prevalent.
“Do not allow anyone to help you when performing a transaction at an ATM, only receive help from the staff of the bank. If your card is swallowed by the machine, immediately phone the number written on the ATM machine where you can cancel your card,” Feni advised.
“Card-swapping and the withdrawal of the cash all happens in a few minutes, therefore, phone immediately and cancel your card in order to prevent loss.”