By Theodorah Waga Mawasha
NKOWANKOWA-Some very rough justice was served up earlier this week, when a man thought to be behind a supposed ATM scam was caught in the act by an infuriated group of customers. Security guards were forced to intervene.
A man believed to be from Nkowankowa, in Greater Tzaneen, who was identified as Benson Malatjie, was reportedly attacked and beaten to a pulp by an angry mob for alleged ATM card scamming and swindling pensioners.
The incident is reported to have happened on Tuesday, August 16, after the suspect was caught in the act at a shopping mall in Malamulele, under the Collins Chabane Municipality.
The video clip has gone viral, dominating the trends on both Tik Tok and Twitter. Although police officials are still investigating claims that the man in question was behind any criminal activity, that didn’t stop members of the public getting physical with the suspect after believing that he was tampering with the ATM outside of the bank.
The alleged ATM card scammer is said to have been terrorising the community, which prompted a violent response when residents caught him.
From the footage, we can only see the aftermath of his alleged crime: Fists start flying, but only a few moderate slaps actually make contact with the so-called scammer.
The suspect is reported to have survived the scathing attacks of the mob and is at large.
HOW ATM SCAMMERS OPERATE IN SOUTH AFRICA
ATM scammers have a various number of methods they employ to capture card details and defraud those who use their targeted cashpoints. From planting recording devices in the machines to hunting in pairs and stealing cards, these criminals are no mugs when it comes to pulling off an effective robbery.
Digital financial crimes in South Africa have been prevalent over the past decade. Card skimming and online fraud have proved to be two of the most popular methods of theft, with South Africans losing millions to these operations each year. You can hardly blame the crowd for getting confrontational with the suspect, given that their hard-earned cash is at stake. SAPS are still probing the matter on Friday.