The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a warning to Nigerians about the increasing threat of ATM swap fraud, urging caution due to a surge in public complaints.
Mr. Dele Oyewale, the Head of Media and Publicity for the EFCC, provided this advice in a statement released to the media in Ibadan on Tuesday.
Oyewale highlighted that the Commission’s investigations have revealed a connection between unauthorized withdrawals from customers’ bank accounts and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) debit card swapping or fraud. The fraudulent scheme involves swapping a customer’s debit card with another from the same bank under the pretense of assisting a confused customer at an ATM.
In his words, Oyewale explained, “They swap the card in such a hurry that the customer would not notice and at the same time memorise 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.”
He further warned that this card-swapping tactic occurs at various service delivery points, including Point of Sale (POS) terminals and ATM points. The EFCC encouraged the banking public to exercise greater vigilance in the use of debit cards.
To prevent financial losses, the EFCC provided useful tips, such as keeping cards in sight or a safe place after transactions, regularly checking bank statements for unknown transactions, setting transaction alerts, covering the keypad when entering PINs, and requesting assistance only from bank officials.
Additionally, the EFCC advised immediate action, such as blocking ATM cards by dialing the USSD code *966*911# and following the instructions to block the card instantly. Oyewale emphasized the EFCC’s commitment to safeguarding personal, corporate, and national finances in its ongoing efforts to eliminate all forms of economic and financial crimes.