Obinna Ugwu, a banker with one of the country’s frontline banks, advised bank customers to sign their ATM card to prevent fraudsters from gaining access to their accounts.
Ugwu, who spoke in an exclusive chat with THE WHISTLERsaid fraudsters are constantly devising ways to trick people and warned bank customers to protect their bank deposits.
He explained that the easiest way for fraudsters to gain access to his account is through the ATM.
“You see that ATM card, as simple as it is, that’s how difficult it can be. If you’re not careful, that’s how they’ll just claim your money with it.
“The series of problems that we have lately here in my bank is that most of the fraudsters walk around with ATM cards that have no names written on them and go to ATMs and try to exchange with the victims,” he revealed.
He said fraudsters are always at the ATM ready to “help” those who are having trouble with transactions.
“By helping, they will simply exchange the cards. They’ll take your card out, put in another pretending to try it separately, until you feel like it doesn’t pay, unaware they’re using another
card with another pin on it.
“Some of these cards they use are blocked cards, and when you start complaining that your card isn’t working, they’ll even be the ones advising you to go to your bank and complain, or go to another ATM so that they can easily get rid of you to allow them to withdraw quickly.
“So it’s helping you to subconsciously show them your pin, because they’ll ask you to put your pin on without knowing they’re watching you carefully,” he explained.
According to the banker, it is for this reason that bankers always advise customers to have their name or signature written on their ATM cards.
“This will let customers know every time their cards are swapped because when swapping cards, fraudsters swap ones that have the same color with the victim’s card and no name on it,” he said. he declares.
adding that the only way a customer whose name is not written on their card will know when there is an exchange is by the last 4 or 7 digits on the back of ATM cards.
Ugwu said: “If you fail to know that your card is redeemed, they get away with it, at the end of the day, when you go to another ATM and try to complete a transaction. , you’ll find it’s not right until you start
to receive debit alerts. It is then that you realize that your card has been exchanged.
The banker also explained that some customers can also walk into the bank with clearing checks, and if they are able to get the signature of the account holder whose check they have, they
will sign the check, go to the bank and deposit it.
He added: “Like the one I experienced recently. I don’t know how the guy got the check, walked in, deposited it and left. As you know the process when you come with a check you deposit the deposit
slip, write your account number, BVN, attach a valid ID, then deposit the check and away you go.
“On our end, we will call the owner of the account to tell him that a certain check has been deposited in our bank, are you the one paying this person on this account?
“Additionally, if the BVN does not match that of the person’s account, we will send an email to the account owner to block their account and we will also block the fraudster’s account.
“So in the case of the guy, that’s how we found out the owner of the check didn’t authorize it, and funny enough, the guy never came back. The worst part is that he didn’t even use his own account, he
used the account of someone who didn’t even know him.
Ugwu further disclosed that the scammers also ask for a relative’s account saying that they are waiting for a certain amount of money and will use such account for transactions.
He, however, noted that banks try to mitigate these fraudulent transactions by monitoring transactions from the back-end of the information technology (IT) unit of banking offices.
“That’s where they notice these fraudulent transactions and even block the affected account,” he said.
He said in his bank (name withheld), once they block these head office accounts, the bank will send a mail to the branch immediately in case the customer enters the branch to complain that his
account is blocked.
“They have to come and confirm that yes, they made such a transaction. If the customer says No, I have not made such a transaction, investigations will begin now, including questions we may ask the
customer. So the bank’s network will now start building its own security to tackle the case.
“What we normally do on our end is my bank has a policy that you can’t just harass a customer, rather in such issues we email head office and then the unit legal will take care of it.
“They will get a court order and send it to every bank that person does business with. They do it through the person’s BVN because it links all the bank accounts they have. So any bank that nobody
works and tries to carry out a transaction, the order sent to it will inform the bank of the reason why such an account is blocked. Such an order could be to arrest that person once they show up. And a policeman
will also be added to the order placed on the account.
“That’s why if you go to any bank, you’ll see that there are policemen standing by the door, and so those policemen will casually approach and make the arrest, taking you out and directly to the police.
station where you will be charged,” he explained further.