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Makokoba man loses $26K pension to fraudsters

A 54-year-old pensioner from Bulawayo’s Makokoba suburb was allegedly swindled of over ZWL$26 000 which had been deposited into his Central Africa Building Society (CABS) account.

Reuben Mpofu, a former general hand with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) received his payout on October 2 and on October 3 his bank account was allegedly wiped clean by suspected online hackers.

According to a police memorandum seen by CITE, Mpofu received two short message services (SMS) requesting him to confirm his personal identity number (PIN) and OTP.  

“On October 5 at around 12:13PM Mpofu received a message purported to be from CABS with a code OTP 631220. At 12:16PM he received another message reading: {Alert! You are about to activate the App on a new device OTP 317771. Do not share this OTP tzJaIDZOLCG},” the memo reads.

Mpofu ignored both texts but subsequently received a phone call from the suspect, who identified himself as Tapera, an employee from the bank, using number 2638644275609 ordering him to respond to the SMS by providing the supplied code.

“Mpofu then supplied the suspect with the code 631220 which was sent in the message thinking that it was genuinely from CABS. At 12:23PM, Mpofu received a notification that a sum of ZW$10000 had been debited from his account,” said the source.

Mpofu called the suspect’s phone number and was told the transaction would be reversed.

“Immediately after the phone call, ZW$5000 was debited from his account. Mpofu called again and the suspect said he was about to finish fixing the account. Mpofu did not suspect any foul play since he had been banking with CABS for a long time.

“ZW$750 more was debited from the account followed by another series of deductions until the balance remained on ZW$3.20. Mpofu then decided to go to the bank to confirm the transactions. While in the queue, the suspect called again assuring Mpofu that the account was being fixed,” according to the memo.

Mpofu then went to the CABS Jason Moyo branch and requested to see the managers who then told him his money had been stolen and advised him to report the matter to the police.

Some clients from CABS bank confirmed to CITE to have received some SMSes from the bank informing them not to confirm any banking details over the phone.

“CABS will never ask you to confirm any personal banking information PIN, OTP over the phone. Do not honour such requests. Call CABS immediately on 0242-883822. CABS,” reads the SMS.

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