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Property Scam

On relocating to Cape Town, the complainant found a place to live through Gumtree. She paid a holding fee of R1 500 into a bank account and, in terms of the lease agreement, R4 000 into another bank account. A further R5 500 was paid into a third account for the first month's rent.
The complainant never received the keys to the property.

She believed that the bank could have recovered her money from the accounts and questioned whether the institutions complied with their duty of care when opening an account. The bank maintained that the client was a victim of a scam that was outside of its control.

Unfortunately for the complainant all the funds had been withdrawn by the time she reported the matter.
While the bank had no control over the scam, it failed to open one of the accounts in accordance with its duty of care. The bank accepted the OBS's recommendation that it refund R1 500 paid into the offending account.

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