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

13 April 2018 - 12:15 By Timeslive
Gegama Simon Mahlangu faced 124 counts of illegally collecting data from bank cards using a skimming device. File photo.
Gegama Simon Mahlangu faced 124 counts of illegally collecting data from bank cards using a skimming device. File photo.
Image: michaeljung / 123RF Stock Photo

A former toll operator who scammed the bank cards of motorists has been jailed for an effective four-year prison term.

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‚ said Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.

"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 transactions‚ Sekgotodi said. The Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit took up the case and Mahlangu was arrested in a sting operation after he was found at work in possession of a skimming device.

Mahlangu faced 124 counts of illegally collecting data from bank cards using the device.

The court sentenced him to total of 19 years imprisonment for fraud‚ some years running concurrently‚ said Sekgotodi said‚ adding he is to serve an effective four-year prison term.

"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‚" Sekgotodi explained.

The provincial head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in Mpumalanga‚ Major General Zodwa Mokoena‚ commented: "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."

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