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ATM fraud:Can CBN really help?

“I suspected that bank officials had some connection with the fraud because, previously, whenever any money was deposited or withdrawn from my account, the bank…

“I suspected that bank officials had some connection with the fraud because, previously, whenever any money was deposited or withdrawn from my account, the bank always alerted me through my e-mail address, ie [email protected]. But in this case, I didn’t get an alert on the deposit nor the withdrawal.

“I kept asking the bank why I didn’t get an alert and why is it taking this long to print out the picture of the person who withdrew the money?”

This is one of the numerous complaints customers of various banks make daily. It is said that those who have deposits in banks lose their money in thousands. Some say the fraud is too much indicating that millions if not billions are lost everyday through these unauthorised withdrawals.

When a customer complains of having lost their deposits, the bankers quickly conclude that the depositor had disclosed their Personal Identification Number (PIN) to a third party.

Of course, some persons might have fallen prey to internet scammers who send mails urging account holders to send account details to them.

Immediately electronic banking found its foot on Nigerian shores, fraudsters also came in. Often, they send unsolicited mails through e-mails asking the account holder to update their account. They claim to be staff of Interswitch, the company that manages the electronic banking technology in Nigeria.

So even if one says he or she did not reveal their PIN to anybody, the banks still find it hard to clear the problem.

But from last year, it became clear that ATM cards can be cloned. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), last October smashed an ATM-card-cloning syndicate in Lagos. After that move, a couple of similar cases was reported.

It became obvious that without ones knowledge, ones card details could be obtained and used to hack into an account. This might be one of the reasons that many banks refuse to settle some of these customers’ claims.    

Benedict A. Aondover said last year, N50,000 was withdrawn from his account through the ATM without his consent.

He said his account is domiciled in Oceanic Bank, Zuba branch, Abuja.

The biggest problem however, is the inability of banks to resolve these cases. A customer who gave his name as Simon Dickson, said he commanded the machine to pay him N20,000 but the machine did not dispense the money. What troubles him most is the treatment he gets from the bank.

He narrated, “It happened at the Mararaba [Nasarawa State] branch of Intercontinental Bank. On Monday [15 Feb 2010], I tried

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