Pretoria – The Hawks have of late detected a trend in which people receive money in order to open bank accounts for people they do not even know. Investigations have revealed that most people have become the subjects of investigations after their accounts were found to have been used to either receive or transfer money which have been defrauded from other victims.

Members of the community, for unknown reasons, agree to open bank accounts and there after hand over the bank card to the person who requested them to do so. Criminals who hack people’s online banking details use those recklessly opened bank accounts to distribute the money online and make withdrawals throughout the country.

The Hawks are issuing a stern warning to people who open bank accounts not to give their cards and pin numbers to anyone, or risk becoming accomplices to various crimes. Over 55 suspects, most of them Nigerian nationals have so far been arrested for crimes varying from internet fraud, phishing and swim swap fraud. The account numbers used by these suspects to transfer money were found to have been legally opened by South Africans who voluntarily handed over their cards and pin numbers for a fee.

Online dating has also become another way in which criminals use to defraud unsuspecting women. Those who visit those sites are advised not to deposit or transfer any money without verifying if they are chatting with a fraudster or a potential companion. Two women have recently been defrauded of R900 000 and R170 000 by Nigerian fraudsters who posed at hunks from Belgium and Scotland.