‘Don’t be duped by latest ATM scam’

Absa spokesperson Errol Smith said the circulating email was incorrect and disappointing.

“We have become aware that there’s a circulating email claiming that if ATM users type in their PIN in reverse the police would come and assist them at a specific ATM,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We want to warn our customers that this ATM PIN reversal functionality does not exist at Absa ATMs. By entering your PIN in reverse you will not notify the police in anyway, nor will cash be dispensed from ATMs.”

According to the email, when ATM users suspect any unbecoming behaviour, they can simply use their PINs in reverse and still get their cash knowing that help is on its way.

But Smith warns that doing so could result in the ATM refusing the transaction or a restrictive hold being placed on the account holder’s card.

“If a PIN is entered in reverse, the ATM will decline the transaction and display the error message: Invalid PIN entered.”

He also refuted claims by the email that this PIN information was broadcast on TV.

“Absa has no knowledge of such a broadcast which informed people that the PIN function was seldom used because people did not know it existed.”

The bank was investigating the origins of the email.

Upon enquiry, all Namibian banks reiterated the statement by Smith, saying people should be extra careful when drawing funds from an ATM during the holiday season. People should ensure that nobody can see the sequence of numbers entered for the PIN number, and they should be especially careful of strangers offering assistance with drawing funds from an ATM.

Meanwhile, Bank Windhoek has warned of another scam in Namibia. Apparently people are conning members of the public into paying a N$20 registration fee for the bank’s EasySave and EasyCredit schemes.

Apparently the alleged perpetrators are approaching members of the public under the name of the bank and inform the would-be victims that the bank is involved in a N$3 million project and that upon payment of the registration fee, clients would be eligible for loans between N$5 000 and N$ 10 000 as start-up capital. ‘ Sapa/own.

December 2006
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