Bank customer cries foul over deduction

Tom Botha is convinced that he was a victim of fraud with the connivance of a Standard Bank employee.

However, the bank denies it and claims the R8 000 that was taken from his credit card was because of his negligence.

The Pinelands businessman said that in September 2017 he was caught in a scam.

“I’m convinced it was an inside job. I received a call, supposedly from Standard Bank, advising me that an international transaction was being carried out on my credit card. I was at my desk and my credit card was locked in my safe.

“They told me the transaction was happening and I needed to verify details so that they could stop or authorise it.

“I got suspicious when they read out the details word for word as it appeared on the credit card, adding that they were all capital letters, which they are.

“They wanted me to confirm my CVC (security) number which made me more suspicious and I gave them an incorrect number, knowing that it would not work. Within a few minutes of putting the phone down, just under
R8 000 was paid to PC Yogi Technologies.

“I don’t remember when last I physically swiped the card, it would be more than two years ago, I don’t carry it with with me and the only time I use it is for Takealot or Travelstart for air tickets when required and because the two sites are secure.

“The only conclusion I come to is that someone in the bank had all my details including the CVC number,” said Mr Botha, who reported it to Standard Bank’s fraud division and the money was paid back into his account.

A few weeks later they told him that the refund would be reversed as they had contacted the merchant who confirmed that it was a legitimate transaction.

“It was not. I requested details of who Standard Bank spoke to but they refused to divulge them,” Mr Botha said.

For that he would have to get a court order.

Mr Botha’s former neighbour is an attorney who offered to investigate and he learned that PC Yogi Technologies had allegedly been involved in fraudulent activities.

“The lawyer moved away so I asked a client who is an attorney to send a letter to the credit card division but Standard Bank ignored this. The attorney suggested that I take the matter to the small claims court.

“I attempted several times to contact the court in Wynberg without success. Eventually I got through to Bellville Small Claims Court who advised me that I fall under Goodwood. They told me they only handle cases between individuals and not individuals and corporates or banks.

“They said that as Standard Bank’s head office is in Gauteng, it was out of their jurisdiction, and if they did handle such cases I would have to go there to proceed. I thought the idea of a small claims court was to make it easier, not to put more stumbling blocks in the way.

“My attorney said he wasn’t an expert on the small claims court but it sounded like nonsense. He advised me to either summons Standard Bank and take the matter to a magistrate’s court but said the costs would be more than the amount I was claiming. He suggested that I try social media and Off my Trolley. Are you able to help in any way? This is in my personal capacity it has nothing to do with my company,” Mr Botha said.

Standard Bank’s public relations consultancy sent a one-line response that said diddley-squat: “Just wanted to confirm that the matter has been investigated and Standard Bank will reach out to the customer.”

After a request for an explanation, Standard Bank said the initial amount that was debited from Mr Botha on July 6 2017 was returned to him on July 25 2017 after he alerted Standard Bank that he didn’t authorise the transaction.

“On September 7, the merchant presented a payment of the same value and Mr Botha approved it after receiving an OTP. Further to this, a transaction would not be allowed if the wrong CVC is provided. Regrettably, Standard Bank is not able to refund Mr Botha,” the bank said and advised him to go to the ombud if he was unhappy with the outcome.

“It’s rubbish,” said Mr Botha, “I did not approve any transaction, neither did I get an OTP but I will go to the banking ombud and social media.”

Up to now no one from Standard Bank has contacted Mr Botha even though their agency said: “Standard Bank will reach out to the customer”.

But Standard Bank did say that to avoid these “mishaps” customers should always keep their cards safe and not give out confidential information.

Never tell anyone your ATM PIN, customer-selected PIN (CSP) or password; never respond to unsolicited emails requesting personal information; check your bank statements regularly to identify any errors or fraudulent transactions; use the bank’s security features, such as free anti-virus software and when in doubt, contact the call centre on 0860 000 123.