Sabric: Muti scam becoming more prevalent

Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay says that carrying as little cash as possible and using electronic banking are just two things people can do to ensure they won’t be targeted by criminals.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has warned the public to be extra cautious while visiting the bank over the festive season.

This is the time that criminals are expected to beef up their efforts to swindle money from vulnerable victims.

The centre has highlighted, among others, ATM card swapping, targeted robberies, the money bomb scam and muti scam as some of the most prevalent ways that criminals may target unsuspecting victims over the holiday period.

Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay says that carrying as little cash as possible and using electronic banking are just two things people can do to ensure that they won’t be targeted by criminals looking to make a quick buck over the festive season.

She explains that while the muti scam has been around for a long time, it’s becoming more prevalent.

Pillay says that with the muti scam, criminals target a person leaving a bank or ATM and wipes a black substance on them.

An accomplice would then come and explain to the unsuspecting victim that he or she has just been marked with muti as a sign that they would be robbed.

“They offer to help and sometimes purport to be a police officer. They further ask customers to put the money in an envelope.”

She says while supposedly trying to assist the victim the criminal would swap the envelopes, taking the one filled with cash and replacing it for an envelope filled with paper and unbelievably, in some cases, even a slice of bread.

“So, we’re just saying to the people; please be awake and be alerted to the fact that criminals are using all kinds of means to try and get access to your cash,” Pillay says.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)