A viral video captured at a mall on Strand Street in Cape Town’s CBD shows two ATM scammers in action. The footage was shared by Crime Watch’s Yusuf Abramjee.
The video shows the criminals, a man and a woman, working together to scam their victims. The first suspect, the woman, is seen arriving at the mall and scouting for targets. A bit later, her male accomplice, is seen walking down an escalator in the mall and then joining a queue for an ATM behind two female shoppers waiting to perform a transaction.
As the line to the ATM moves forward, the man pushes in front the women and takes out some money from his wallet. He then presses ‘perform cardless transaction’ on the ATM and walks away a few seconds later, making way for the shoppers behind him.
However, he does not walk far from the ATM and stops to loiter nearby as the women try to use the ATM. They are unable to enter their cards into the ATM slot because it is now locked, due to the ‘cardless transaction’ performed by the male suspect.
Pretending to offer assistance, the man goes back to the ATM and approaches the two targets. He then removes one of the target’s cards with his left hand and surreptitiously removes his money as it comes out of the machine with his right.
Security arrives at the scene but the suspect continues with the operation.
The female suspect is then seen joining her accomplice at the ATM in order to see the victim’s pin. Having seen it, she tells her accomplice, who takes out the victim’s cash and the card as she walks away. The male suspect then also leaves, joining the woman and the two make off with the victim’s cash, which is later found to be R20 000.
According to the video clip shared by ENCA’s Crime Watch, both suspects were later apprehended and given a prison sentence. The male suspect has been sentenced to 53 years of imprisonment for theft and racketeering, while the female has been sentenced to 50 years.