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‘How Fraudsters Steal With ATM Cards’

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: (EDITORS NOTE: Part of this image has been pixellated) In this photo illustration a man uses a ATM cash dispenser outside a branch of the HSBC bank on January 24, 2017 in Bristol, England. High street lender HSBC has announced it is to close a further 62 more high street branches across the UK on top of the 55 closures announced last year, meaning a total of 117 HSBC branches will close in 2017. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A new sophisticated method of defrauding bank customers through ATM cards has emerged and a sizeable number of people have fallen victim to this.

How does it work? A fraudster collects your ATM card and before you realized you had lost it, the money you had in your bank account is gone.

Our correspondent gathered that the last two digit numbers on the ATM card are what the fraudsters manipulate and use to empty victim’s account.

According to the information, after performing their magic on the two numbers, the fraudster would then slot the card into the ATM machine and the money would come in quick successions. The defrauded customer would not receive alert for the transactions. In the event that he receives an alert, it would only show the amount withdrawn and not the transactions.

The Vortex editor, Polycarp Nwaeke who related his experience said that N60,000 (sixty thousand naira) was withdrawn fraudulently from his Diamond, now Access Bank account in June when he lost his ATM card.

“It was a credit alert for N5000, which somebody paid into my account on June 6, and which showed wrong balance that alerted me that something had gone wrong”, he said.

He said he had written to managers of the bank demanding explanation on what happened to his money placed under their custody, but had not received tangible reply.

“I even personally confronted the manager of the Bank at the Rumuokoro branch on the issue, but she told me they had no means of discovering that kind of fraud.

She said the bank had repeatedly advised customers to keep their ATM cards secured and not to disclose their pins to anybody.

She even asked me the kind of people I was living with in my house, insinuating that they may have done that to me”.

A middle aged woman, who gave her name as Emily told our correspondent that she lost N300,00 to fraudster through the loss of her ATM card.

The woman said she does not use her ATM card regularly which was why she did not discover the loss and was unable to report to her bank on time.

“They used the ATM card and withdrew N40, 000 seven times from my account”, she lamented.

Barr Awama OT, narrated to The Vortex how his friend’s wife lost N180,000 as a result of the loss of her ATM card.

He said alert showing the transactions for the money was not received, adding that he had instructed the woman to demand for her bank statement, so he could use it to institute a court case against the bank.

Discussions on how people had lost their hard earned money entrusted to the custody of banks through the loss of their ATM cards and handsets is rampant not only in Rivers State, but other states of the federation.

At a relaxation spot, our correspondent heard how a man who misplaced his phone had N80, 000 removed from his account. It was gathered that the fraudster saw his account number on the phone and used it to withdraw the money.

Why are banks keeping mute over these onslaughts on their customers? Why have they not factored this kind of fraud into their security net work?

People take their money to banks for security, but banks are becoming more insecure, especially in Nigeria.

If this trend continues, banks may lose customers, which may result to closure of some of them.

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