Yesterday evening, at approximately 13h45 members of our Special Operations Team received information about fraud suspects at a well-known shopping mall in the La Lucia area.
The suspects’ modus operandi involves attempting to purchase multiple items in a store with a card that has insufficient funds. they then claim that the store’s card machine is malfunctioning. The suspects would then request to use a mobile card machine and conduct the transaction themselves. During this process they would set up a refund transaction for the same total amount for the goods into their account. The card machine then prints out a slip saying approved but not for a transaction of purchase but a transaction for a refund. Cashiers, often not noticing the details on the slip, are deceived by this tactic. The suspects quickly leave the scene, defrauding the store of both goods and a substantial sum of money.
Responding to this information, our teams, together with the Durban North Trio Crimes Unit, arrived on scene. The suspects were seen exciting the mall and getting into their getaway vehicle. Our team promptly stopped the vehicle, resulting in the apprehension of four suspects.
Several bags of clothes that had been stolen and fraudulently obtained from a well-known clothing store were recovered, along with the transaction slips for the refunds.
All four suspects were then transported to Durban North SAPS for further investigation and processing. The suspects are believed to be linked to several cases of fraud and theft across Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
A big thank you to Home Hawks Neighborhood Watch for their assistance.
We urge all retailer owners to take extra security precautions to avoid being victim to theft and fraud.