Xolani Nyangiwe, Khayelitsha
You must never tell anybody your bank account PIN over the phone no matter who that person is and what he or she says to you.
I received a call from a lady who introduced herself as Portia from the fraud unit of the bank I have an account with.
She was warning me about two companies which wanted to debit R19 000 and R3 000 from my account. She was quite convincing as she knew my account number. I almost believed her as she also gave me a reference number for the call for me to give to the bank after the call.
She had no problem with me going to a nearby branch. The problems started when she wanted me to tell her my account PIN so that she could block those debit orders.
I refused and insisted that I am driving to a local branch to ask for assistance.
She asked me if they can allow those debit orders to go through as they would if I don’t give her the PIN.
She advised me to give her the PIN so that they can block everything even before I go to the branch. I still refused and I could see that she was panicking. She then dropped the call, promising to call me again. She never called again.
I drove to a local branch in Bellville. First and foremost, they said they don’t call clients from cellphone with a 065 number or cellphones at all.
They don’t even ask for PINs over the phone nor do they do so even at the branch.
Secondly, the reference number I was given with a CPI at the end even though it sounded genuine, was a fake. There were no companies trying to debit my account. Had I given her my PIN, my account would have been drained before I even arrived at the bank.
Lastly, she never even called it a PIN. She used a very technical term used by the banks but I understood it to mean a four-digit code to my account.
You must never give your PIN to anybody over the phone, no matter who they are, even if they say they are calling from the bank or the police station. That saved my money.