Bank Windhoek warns its business and individual clients to be vigilant when receiving proof of payments for goods or services rendered.
The bank has urged its clients to not release goods on the basis of a deposit slip, an electronic transfer slip or proof of an internet banking transfer transaction being produced by a customer. Clients have been advised to always first verify that the funds have in fact been deposited into the account.
“Just as more and more businesses do not accept cheques as proof of payment, because of the high risk of fraud associated with them, we advise businesses and individual clients not to accept deposit slips as a confirmation of payment”, said Johnny Truter, Head of Bank Windhoek’s Forensic Department.
Clients can verify deposits by calling their respective bank’s branches and can arrange with their customers that goods will only be released after the deposit has been verified.
Truter also advises that clients should always ask for identification documents and verify against the physical person. “Be aware that identification theft usually accompany fraud in the form of stolen or forged documents to create positive identification and trust. Always verify the alleged deposit with your bank. Do not call a phone number provided by the client, but rather find it in the directory. Even verify where an SMS or e-mail notification of the deposit from your bank was received,” advised Truter.
He continued that clients should rather call and ask the bank whether it was cash or a cheque deposit.This is because the deposit slip, electronic transfer slip or proof of an internet banking transfer transaction, provided as proof of payment by the fraudster, may have been forged and details changed after the deposit and the bank stamp was placed thereon.
“Fraudsters may change the information on the bank stamped deposit slip provided as proof of payment to indicate that cash was deposited while in fact it was a cheque. When a cheque deposit was made, be aware of clearance periods. It may take five days for the cheque to be cleared so do not release goods before the cheque is cleared. To do so, is at your own risk,” warned Truter.
He added that during the clearance period, the cheque deposited might be returned and not honoured for various reasons. It could be that the cheque was stolen and fraudulently completed with a forged signature; it was a forged cheque; the bank account of the cheque issued might have been closed; or there might be insufficient funds to honour the cheque. “Be very cautious where the client is absent and wants to do the transaction over the telephone or email and immediately after supplying a deposit slip, sends a courier to collect the goods. Fraudsters may do it to avoid the identification verification process,” cautioned Truter.