A Toll gate skimmer jailed after stealing over R40,000 from motorists

MPUMALANGA- Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said Gegama Simon Mahlangu‚ 25‚ was sentenced by the Evander Regional Court in Mpumalanga this week for unlawfully using a skimming device to rip off unsuspecting motorists of over R40‚000 at the Trichardt Toll Plaza.

The former toll operator scammed unsuspecting motorists bankcards and has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Sekgotodi said, “In the course of 2017‚ Mahlangu was working as a Toll Operator and he illegally skimmed bank cards of passing motorists when they were making payments. Later that year complaints were received from the bank regarding clients that had lost money through strange transaction.”

The Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit worked on the investigation and Mahlangu was arrested in a sting operation after he was found at work in possession of a skimming device.

Because Mahlangu was facing 124 counts of illegally collecting data from bank cards using the device, his sentence was added to 19 years imprisonment, the sentencing will run concurrently with the four year sentence for fraud.

Sekotodi added, “Card Skimming is prevalent and it usually involves using a hand held device to collect data from the magnetic stripe of a credit‚ debit or any bank card. This information is then copied onto a blank card’s magnetic stripe‚ from then on a person in possession of this cloned card is able to make purchases or withdraw cash in the name of the actual account holder‚”

“Patrons are urged to make it difficult for occurrences of card skimming to take place by being vigilant at all times. Always keep an eye on your bank statements for unauthorised transactions and report these immediately.”

Photo Credit- eNCA

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