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Pensioners lose benefits to fraudster

On June 6, he travelled to Plumtree where he realised that his mobile number linked to his CBZ bank account had lost network.

A HARARE man fleeced pensioners of their terminal benefits after manufacturing fake documents to claim their money without their knowledge.

The suspect, Tawanda Matau, appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei on Wednesday facing seven counts of fraud.

He was remanded in custody pending bail application.

It is the State’s case that in May 2023, Tanetewa Nyamuhape, a retired Air Force member, received his pension of ZWL$$8 million.

He made several transactions and was left with a balance of ZW1$1 214 179,25 as of June 6, 2023.

On June 6, he travelled to Plumtree where he realised that his mobile number linked to his CBZ bank account had lost network.

He replaced the SIM card, but realised that his CBZ mobile platform log-in details had been changed.

Upon inquiry, he realised that he was left with a bank balance of ZWL$3 672,77 with the remainder having been moved out under unclear circumstances.

He filed a report with the bank and the police.

Investigations showed that his money was transferred to one Memory Chibgwa’s CBZ bank account.

Further investigations revealed that the accused person and his accomplices had created a fake plastic national identity card with the complainant’s details, but bearing Tawanda Matau’s face.

The fake identity document was presented at an Econet office, where Matau claimed ownership of the SIM card.

On August 28, 2023, retired police officer Itai Jere received his pension amounting to ZWL$12 382 529,85 in his CBZ bank account.

She made a few transactions and was left with a balance of ZWL$4 736 571,46 and US$254,48.

She later received a call from an Africom number 08644305111 from a lady who introduced herself as a CBZ bank customer service employee.

The lady identified herself as Precious Sunungurai Mzenda and said CBZ was upgrading its system before the call abruptly cut.

Mzenda called again and asked the complainant to provide her with the six-digit number that had been sent to her mobile phone.

The complainant supplied Mzenda with the details. Mzenda then requested her mobile bank log-in details.

The complainant later tried to log in to her mobile bank application, but failed.

She later received an email from the bank advising her that another user had successfully logged into her account.

Later, she received email notifications advising her that money was being moved out of her account.

Investigations revealed that the suspect had used the same modus operandi to move the money.

On July 24, last year, retired teacher Letween Dzapasi received his pension amounting to ZWL$7 602 946,96 in his CBZ bank account. Using the same modus operandi, the suspect stole his money.

Another complainant, Rangariral Shembe, who is a retired army officer, was also cheated of ZWL$2,6 million by the suspect.

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