The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has alerted Nigerians on the rate of unauthorized withdrawals through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) from bank accounts of customers, describing it as alarming.
The alert is contained in a statement issued by EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, on Monday night.
Oyewale, who said that the commission found that such withdrawals are linked to ATM, Debit Card swapping or fraud, noted that the fraudsters engaged in this activity typically keep a debit card from the same bank and, under the guise of assisting a confused bank customer at an ATM, swiftly swap the card while memorising the PIN used with fake cards.
What the EFCC Spokesperson is saying
The statement from Oyewale reads,
- “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been inundated with a barrage of complaints from well-meaning Nigerians concerning unauthorised withdrawals from their bank accounts, which investigations by the commission have linked to Automated Teller Machine, ATM, Debit Card swapping or fraud.
- ‘’The modus operandi of fraudsters involved in this nefarious practice involves keeping a debit card of the same bank, and in the guise of helping a confused bank customer at any ATM point, swaps the card in such a hurry that the customer would not notice and at the same time memorises the pin used in trying the fake cards. These cards get stuck in the machine due to a wrong pin and the fraudster quickly abandons the victim, advising him/her to report to the bank while making away with the victim’s card to make immediate withdrawals from the account.
‘’This card swapping typically happens in any service delivery point, such as Point of Sale, POS, terminals, ATM points, among others. The fraudulent practice is gaining momentum across the country and the banking public is enjoined to be more circumspect in the use of debit cards.’’
How the banking public can avoid financial losses
The commission in the statement noted that in view of the preceding, the following tips may be useful in avoiding further financial losses by the banking public:
- Cards should be kept in sight or in a safe place. Whenever you get your card back after making any payment, make sure it is actually your card and not just one that looks similar.
- Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transaction.
- Set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card.
- Cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at POS terminal/ATM machines.
- Do not be in a rush to make payments or withdrawals, and request assistance only from officials of the bank.
- Call your banks to block your ATM cards immediately when your cards are stuck in the ATM machines or whenever you observe any irregularity.
- Ensure you know your bank’s ATM offline blocking code and quickly use it whenever it is misplaced or stolen.
- Dial the USSD code *966*911# and follow the pop-up instructions to block your ATM card instantly.
He also assured that the EFCC will not relent in safeguarding personal, corporate and national finances in its quest to rid our nation of all forms of economic and financial crimes.