Johan and Maatje du Plessis were enjoying a comfortable retirement two years ago until they were caught in an internet banking fraud facilitated by a sim swap. The Richards Bay couple went from being well off - with R570,000 cash in the bank and a home loan that was almost paid off - to penniless and indebted to Absa to the tune of R171,000. Now they face losing their home. Within three weeks of the fraud, Absa sent them a letter referring to disputed transactions on two of their seven accounts. Absa claimed to have investigated the fraud and found the transactions were made using their pin and password. Since these were "known only" by the couple, the bank concluded it was not liable for the loss they had suffered. But in the interests of "a continued" relationship with Johan, the bank offered him an ex gratia payment of part of the amounts debited to his accounts, in full and final settlement of his loss. The offer was valid for seven days only. A month later, after Johan had acce...

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