Be on the lookout for SIM card scammers

Several far south residents have fallen prey to false claims of free data and airtime.

Police spokesman, Warrant Officer Peter Middelton, said the scammers operate in a group of men and women. They all wear the same T-shirts and claim to be from a bank or a cellphone network provider.

The group targets pedestrians and offers them a free SIM card with data or airtime, claiming they will keep their old number.

They offer to insert the new SIM card. The victim is asked to insert a PIN and the scammers then offer to set up the phone.

Warrant Officer Middelton said it is during this “set-up” period that they send themselves airtime or transact a cardless cash withdrawal.

They receive a PIN from the cellphone and while they are busy with the victim, one withdraws the money from an ATM.

The victims are told that they will receive an SMS and a PIN after two hours to “activate” the data or airtime.

Investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Jeremy Marten, said earlier incidents took place in Fish Hoek Main Road and the group claimed to be from Capitec Bank. The latest incident, he said, took place outside the entrance of Longbeach Mall.

Warrant Officer Middelton urges residents to only make use of reputable service providers and to not give anyone access to their cellphones.

Suspicious activities can be reported to Fish Hoek police at 021 784 2700.