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Complaints of payments made to ghost accounts

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Customers have allegedly lodged complaints to the National Credit Regulator pushing for an investigation of ghost accounts following repayments made to creditors of African Bank.

Salma Van Der Skyf* reported that she had been harassed with calls by African Bank asking her to pay her Cell C account. The consultant provided her with the amount to deposit and explained at which bank payment was to be made. After making the payment, Salma called to inform the company that the money had been deposited. An African Bank consultant, however, indicated that no payment reflected.

“They told me to go to Netbank and I paid, yet the money was not reflecting. When I called my creditor to inform them that I paid they told me that there was no trace of the payment made,” Van Der Skyf explained.

The bank then referred her to First National Bank (FNB) to continue payments, after which African bank informed her to fax her payments to a financial institution. After having called the number that African Bank provided her, she was told that the line was no longer in use.

“I called the number and it went to voicemail, saying that this number no longer exists. When I faxed the documents it would not go through,” Van Der Skyf noted.

Salma, upon visiting a branch of African Bank, was informed that she had not been liaising with her creditor.

In a separate incident Moosa Ryklief* had been called by Africa Bank stating that he needs to make repayments on his Woolworths account. Ryklief reported that once he had made payments to Netbank he called the company who informed him that the payments had not been reflecting. He was subsequently informed that the banking details were incorrect.

“I paid the money but they informed me that nothing has been paid – you can only make cash deposits so it’s hard to trace,” Ryklief asserted.

Another complainant, Jessie Pihan*, stated that she had made the payment on her car but had been informed that the bank had debited the money twice from her account. She was later informed that the installments of her new vehicle were being made into a ghost account.

“I was horrified. You can’t trust these people. Where is the money going to – God only knows.”

The National Credit Regulator confirmed that a case of ghost creditors was being investigated. The National regulator says that often bank personnel defraud clients by offering them incorrect banking details and warns clients to take responsibility by verifying that the details are correct before making any cash payments.

‘Customers have to double check to ensure they have the right banking details before making deposits to any creditor. We have no formal reports lodged of these occurrences. This makes it hard to trace.”

If you have experienced similar banking irregularities, please contact Nailah on: (021) 442-3523

VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)

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