Bank employee catches conman red-handed

10 August 2021 | Crime

While on patrol with the Namibian Police on 29 July 2021, Bank Windhoek's Customer Contact Centre Agent Bonifacius Chaunelesethle caught a scammer in the act.
Chaunelesethle found a middle-aged man on his way to a Bank Windhoek Automatic Teller Machine to withdraw an EasyWallet at 01:00, outside of curfew hours.
A reservist in his private time and with his banking knowledge, Chaunelesethle noticed something suspicious right away. He asked the man to explain the urgency for the withdrawal of the money. The man replied that his landlord needed the funds immediately.
"With his permission, we took his phone and asked him to provide the name of the person that sent him the money, which he could not do; it was suspicious. I asked the officers to keep him in custody until I could contact the sender," said Chaunelesethle. "Over the years, we notice that scammers usually withdraw customer's money during early morning hours, while they are asleep."
To begin with, the Namibian Police apprehended the man for contravening curfew hours. Meanwhile, to assess whether the customer transferred the funds voluntarily or was scammed, Chaunelesethle contacted the customer at 08:00. "She confirmed that she was phoned by a man the day before claiming to be a Bank Windhoek employee," said Chaunelesethle.
The customer told Chaunelesethle that the fraudster requested her to provide her banking details. Since the impostor was convincing, the customer gave her banking account and the Personal Identity Number (PIN). She was then asked to switch off her phone for updating purposes. Chaunelesethle informed the customer that Bank Windhoek would never call customers to ask for their banking details, especially the account PIN.

Be warned!
Bank Windhoek's Manager of Forensic Services, Johnny Truter echoed Chaunelesethle’s sentiments: “Customers must never share their PIN; the fraudsters can enter the customer’s digital profile, take over their profile, and even register for digital services like the EasyWallet. The customer is mostly unaware of this and by that time, the scammers may have emptied the account,” he said.
“Therefore, customers must immediately call the Bank’s HelpDesk, inform them of the scam to cancel these services,” said Truter.
Chaunelesethle added that as staff members, they do not have to know customer's PINs.
The Police found that one of the numbers that received the fraudulent Easywallet belongs to the con artist.
With permission from his line manager, Chaunelesethle gave his statement to the Namibian Police to validate the customer's case against the fraudster. "We could only retrieve some of the money, the rest of it the scammer admitted to having spent the day before. He is currently in custody at the Namibian Police Station in Windhoek," said Chaunelesethle.
Bank Windhoek's Customer Contact Centre Manager, Deborah Henckert, applauded Chaunelesethle for ensuring that the impostor could not steal more money from the customer's account.
Truter advised customers not to respond to emails, texts, or phone calls asking for their personal information or people asking them to wire them money. "Practicing vigilance remains one of the most robust defences to curb fraud. Avoid the message and call your financial institution directly," he said, adding that Bank Windhoek will never ask for customer's personal information over the phone.
A crime-fighting volunteer, Chaunelesethle, said the conman told him they get customers' personal information from death announcements and social media platforms such as Facebook. "The scammer learned the illegal activity while in prison," he said. "We should assist the police in fighting crime, especially by providing them with information; it will benefit the country as a whole," said Chaunelesethle, he encouraged customers who are victims or suspect that a scammer targets them, to contact Bank Windhoek's Customer Contact Centre immediately to report the incident at 061 299 1200.

Similar News


Attackers, thieves still at large

1 week ago - 22 November 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] four men who attacked the principal of the Windhoek International School, Margarete Reiff (57), to such an extent that she had to...

Windhoekse skoolhoof aangerand, beroof

1 week ago - 21 November 2021 | Crime

Ronelle Rademeyer - Die skoolhoof van die Windhoek Internasionale Skool, me. Margarete Reiff (57), is kort gelede in die Lady Pohamba private hospitaal opgeneem nadat...

Cemetery attack highlights city’s safety issues

1 week ago - 17 November 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] man who was brutally assaulted and robbed at the Pioneers Park Cemetery last week, has warned fellow residents that Windhoek is no...

A year later, Spencer still missing

3 weeks ago - 04 November 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] months after the sudden disappearance of 3-year-old Spencer Mandela Nakale in Area 7 in Lüderitz, police say no trace of the boy...

DNA tests to speed up

4 weeks ago - 01 November 2021 | Crime

NamPol and the National Forensic Sciences University of India will prioritise capacity building on Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing matters, that will help NamPol solve criminal...

Witvlei farmers: The legal system is failing us

1 month - 26 October 2021 | Crime

Grootfontein • [email protected] in the Witvlei area are suffering under a spate of livestock and game thefts, and they say the legal system is failing...

Crime syndicates more devious than ever

1 month - 10 October 2021 | Crime

NamPol warned businesses and banks to be extra vigilant for criminal syndicates involved in defrauding and stealing from shops and banks across the country.In a...

Passport message is fake

1 month - 03 October 2021 | Crime

Executive director in the Ministry of Home Affairs Ettienne Maritz, has warned members of the public not to respond to an SMS notification message telling...

Whistleblower platform launched

2 months ago - 16 September 2021 | Crime

Agribank has introduced an anonymous whistleblower platform where unethical, corrupt or fraudulent activities can be reported by staff, members of the public as well as...

Namibia’s child rape tsunami

2 months ago - 07 September 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] Namibian police opened 15 cases of rape involving children and teenagers aged between 11 months and 17 years old since the beginning...

Latest News

Kiddie Sport remains a hit

15 hours ago | Sports

Since 1992, Kiddie Sport has been introduced to most pre-primary and primary schools in the capital, which means that the programme has been taking place...

Big cheque for Autism Association

15 hours ago | Sports

The Nedbank for Autism Series has again shown spectators far and wide why it is one of the most influential sought after golfing events on...

Things to consider when buying...

16 hours ago | Agriculture

Windhoek • Hanks SaisaiCrop farming is an agricultural activity that involves the tilling or cultivation of the land to ensure its preparedness before a farmer...

16 completed projects handed over

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Environment

The Empower to Adapt: Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods Through Community Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia (CBNRM EDA) Project officially handed over 16 completed...

The role of CSR as...

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Marlize HornCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a broad term, but in essence it is the ownership that a company takes for its role...

Lifers make bid for early...

1 day - 28 November 2021 | Justice

Windhoek • [email protected] men sentenced to ultra-long imprisonments including life, are battling to be released on parole after serving more than half of their jail...

Munisipale bateregister uiteindelik in plek

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Government

Windhoek • [email protected] Windhoek munisipaliteit sê sy bateregister is voltooi ten spyte van kommer wat deur die kantoor van die ouditeur-generaal (OG) geopper is dat...

Osona area hit by veld...

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Disasters

Although the veld fires in the area surrounding Windhoek have calmed down recently, several major fires broke out countrywide yesterday. This image shows a fire...

Rolspelers vergader oor straatkinders

4 days ago - 25 November 2021 | Social Issues

Die ministerie in die presidensie verantwoordelik vir geslagsgelykheid, armoede-uitwissing en maatskaplike welsyn is die gasheer van ’n driedaagse slypskool om ’n oplossing te probeer vind...

Load More