Bank statement fraudsters due in court

A group accused of illegally accessing bank client statements will appear in court today.

A group accused of illegally accessing bank client statements will appear in court today. Picture: RSC Inc.

CAPE TOWN - A group of people accused of fraudulently accessing bank client statements are expected to be formally charged in the Cape Town Magistrates Court today.

Over the past few months, the Hawks have arrested at least six suspects, which include a private investigator, several bank employees and a prominent Cape Town businessman.

The Hawks swooped on the bank employees after it was found they had been accessing client statements and then selling them.

It's believed one former bank employee earned R50,000 on the side within six months.

The statements are reportedly sold to unscrupulous private investigators, who then sell it to their clients.

Organisations which fail to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act of 2013 face stiff penalties or jail sentences.

The new legislation clearly defines how institutions must keep consumers' personal information secure.

But criminals are using employees on the inside to gain access to bank accounts.

It's taken eight years for the Protection of Personal Information Act to be signed into law.

But the gaping loophole is that institutions still have a year to comply with it.

After the so-called grace period any organisation which neglects to keep personal information secure can face a jail term and a stiff penalty of up to R10 million.