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Man conned at ATM loses $300 after bank cards are switched

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A 29-year-old man yesterday pleaded guilty to vexing a Steward Bank account holder at an automated teller machine before stealing $267 from his account.

Michael Phuzumadu admitted to theft charges when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe.

He was sent for community service vetting and will know his fate today.
The prosecutor, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa told the court that Trymore Chinamira went to Steward Bank Eastgate Branch at the intersection of Robert Mugabe Road and Second Street in Harare looking for money.

Chinamira was approached by Phuzumadu, who pretended to know him and also appeared to be looking for money.

Later Phuzumadu told Chinamira that he received information that money was available at Steward Bank First Street branch in Harare. The pair proceeded to the First Street branch and Phuzumadu went to the ATM first.

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He pretended as if he successfully withdrew money, prompting Chinamira to also try his luck.

He then inserted his card into the ATM but could not withdraw money because there was no cash. Phuzumadu advised him to try again and during that time he captured his pin number.

Again, Chinamira failed to withdraw the money and Phuzumadu blamed him for wrongly inserting the ATM card.
He asked to be given the card and swapped it with the one he had.

Phuzumadu failed to withdraw the money and returned to Chinamira a blocked card which he failed to immediately notice.
While at Food World supermarket, Chinamira tried to swipe the card but was told it was blocked and dysfunctional.

He rushed to Steward Bank Eastgate branch and obtained a bank statement confirming that $267 had been withdrawn from his account.

He notified the bank manager and security guards.

The following day Chinamira spotted Phuzumadu sitting near Steward Bank Eastgate branch waylaying other account holders.

He reported the matter and Phuzumadu was apprehended.

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