Identity stolen

Linda van Wyk's identity theft nightmare started when two people committed fraud with her identity number.

According to Linda, it all started on September 9, when she received a phone call from 8ta in Fourways.

“They asked me about the new cellphone contract I requested,” said van Wyk who added that she knew nothing about the new contract and had not requested it.

She then called her husband Willie, to ask whether he knew anything about it. When he said he was also unaware of this new contract she contacted 8ta to query the request.

To her surprise her supervisor at work also received a call from 8ta in Fourways on the same day, to confirm van Wyk’s employment.

Van Wyk said they asked her supervisor for confirmation of employment because, they said, she had applied for a cellphone contract.

“I was called in and informed about the request,” said van Wyk.

After receiving more calls about accounts she was unaware of, which had been opened in her name, she and Willie realised something was seriously wrong.

She immediately discussed the situation with her supervisor to inform her of what was going on.

“We realised that this person had stolen my wife’s identity number,” said Willie.

Only one week after this incident van Wyk’s supervisor received another telephone call requesting confirmation of employment from Standard Bank in Springs.

“The person from Standard Bank phoned again later on the same day to confirm that her banking details, as per her apparent request, would be changed from Absa to Standard Bank,” said van Wyk.

During this call she was also informed that someone posing as Linda had applied for an R80 000 loan, using Linda’s ID number, which was granted.

According to Linda and Willie they went to the Springs Police Station to report this matter on September 18, but no one wanted to help them.

Without any satisfaction they left the police station and on their way home, van Wyk’s supervisor phoned her to say she had received a call from the Standard Bank in the Greenstone Shopping Centre. The caller informed van Wyk’s boss, in her absence, that there was a woman using Linda’s ID number at the bank to draw money from the account into which the loan had been paid.

Van Wyk alleged the woman drew R5 000 from the ATM in the centre and exceeded her limit and went inside the bank to draw another R15 000.

According to van Wyk, the branch manager contacted her supervisor and asked her about van Wyk’s ethnicity. He was shocked to learn the person sitting in front of him was not van Wyk.

He immediately contacted the Kempton Park police and the woman was arrested at the Greenstone Mall in connection with fraud.

Van Wyk and her husband went to see the bank manager, who explained to them this woman was very convincing. “He showed us the woman’s ID and it was a perfect copy, with all my details except for the photo,” says Linda.

But her problems were not over yet as another nightmare awaited her.

On September 21 she received a phonecall from Foschini’s about opening an account, which she knew nothing about.

She has also been receiving account statements from a clothing store in Balfour with an outstanding balance of R1 500 and another from a different store valued at R3 600.

Van Wyk and her husband Willie are living with this nightmare and do not know who to turn to as these fraudsters did not only steal her identity, they know her bank and personal details and also her address.

The arrested woman appeared in the Kempton Park magistrates court on October 15. The case has been postponed to October 29 and the woman remains in custody.

The other imposter is still at large.

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