PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - Plettenberg Bay residents and visitors have been cautioned to be vigilant after an alleged ATM scam was foiled.
The operations head of the town's crime prevention association (PBCPA), Otto Oliver, said they received an alert from a local businessman at around 19:20 last Thursday about visitors allegedly being illegally charged by three suspects to park at an ATM in Main Street.
This is believed to be the modus operandi of ATM scammers.
Olivier said during an ATM scam bust in Plettenberg Bay about seven months ago, it was revealed that these scammers usually lurk around parking areas targeting unsuspecting foreign visitors. They would inform the tourists that they need to pay for parking and when they do not have money, accompany them to a nearby ATM. "Under the pretense of helping visitors, the scammers then obtain their PIN numbers, steal their bank cards and withdraw the maximum amount at another ATM," Olivier said.
Following last week's alert, a description of the suspects' vehicle was distributed and Plett Security rapid response members immediately deployed to possible exit routes.
The suspects were then spotted at the local Shell Garage, Olivier said. "Tactical response unit members requested assistance from local police and municipal law enforcement when the suspects sped off on the N2 towards Knysna when they were approached."
While members were in hot pursuit, Bitou law enforcement and traffic officials managed to pull the vehicle off. "The three suspects were taken to the Plett police station by police for questioning." This all happened within 30 minutes of the alert.
"During the interrogation it was found that the attempted ATM scam was unsuccessful as our visitors were definitely crime wise this time."
Olivier warned that residents and visitors should be vigilant when faced with situations like these.
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