Category Archives: Ethics

Bank card fraud emptied my account

credit-cardsA couple of years ago a friend of mine experienced the horrendous feeling of his credit card being maxed out by card fraudsters. Today it was my turn to experience something similar. I receive an SMS when money comes in or goes out of my cheque account (and credit card account). I just arrived home when I received an SMS that says the following: (I am withholding the amount)

FNB 🙂 Rxxxx.xx reserved for purchase @ Multichoice Africa from cheq a/c..008386 using card..4255. 11Jul 16:19

The card in question is my cheque card connected to my cheque account. And, they emptied my account and pushed it into the red! The odd thing about this is that I have never, EVER, used this card online to purchase anything at ALL! I have only EVER used this card to purchase things in-store. Where these fraudsters found my card number, I do not know.

Further, I never go to my bank account online via emails, and I do not need to make use of my card number to do so! I used to be a software developer on anti-virus software and also on data security software. I know the risks, and I know what to look for.

Also, this “purchase” was done at Multichoice Africa, which is the DSTV African division, outside of South Africa. That means, it was probably some Nigerian that got gold of my card number and paid for his DSTV account online. The question is, how did these criminals get hold of my card number?

Did they hack into FNB to get to my card number, and how many card numbers did they steal? It is close to impossible to hack into banks these days, so the follow-up question is, Did they have help on the inside?

I had to cancel the card, and now I sit with no card, to an account with no money! Oh, the irony!

Insurance companies milk us dry

miwayA few weeks ago I was contacted by MiWay insurance. Kind of a cold call I would say! They cover household contents and vehicles, etc. As insurance is not cheap, I do not mind going through the process of getting new quotes on insurance every now and again.

At that point I was paying R1,200 ($171) a month on insurance at Budget. I know, you rich guys out there are paying much more than that and never complain! However, R1,200 is a lot of money to me!

So, MiWay finally came back and quoted me R900 ($128) a month. A savings per month of R300 ($43)! That undercut Budget something fierce. While I was on the Phone to MiWay, they told me that that as a service to their new clients, they would facilitate the break-off from my existing insurer. Wow, I thought! That’s cool! Not so fast buddy! All that that meant was that they would call my current insurer for me and connect me to them so that I could do the break! Big deal! Quite funny, isn’t it?

budgetinsuranceAnyway, I started talking with Budget about stopping their service, and I was put through to one of their main consultants. She had this long title, so I suppose she is important at Budget! After hearing that I wanted to leave, without taking a breath she offered me a new deal to stay…, as a valued customer of theirs, of course! She made me a new offer on the spot, at R725 ($103) a month! That is almost R500 less than before! That’s sick!

That means that, for who knows how long, I could have been paying R725 a month instead of R1,200 a month!

Insurer’s are milking us, and who knows for how much at the end of the day? This is simply unethical and extremely bad service to clients! How can these companies do that to their clients? They make us pay a certain amount for insurance while knowing all along that they could offer lower prices! That is stealing in my opinion! Certainly, as a better service, they could do the leg work and go back to their clients periodically with better offers themselves, couldn’t they? Or is that too much to ask?

Anyway, I decided to stay with Budget for the time being, since R475 ($68) a month less, is nothing to sneeze at! However, I will keep my insurer honest from now on by doing annual quotes with other insurers, until my insurer can no longer offer me a better deal!


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