Beware of ATM Swap Fraudsters , EFCC Alerts Nigerians

By Nurat Uthman

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has advised Nigerians to be wary of ATM swap fraudsters, saying the commission has been inundated with a barrage of complaints from the public concerning the incident.

The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Dele Oyewale, gave the advice in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Ibadan.

Oyewale said investigations by the Commission have linked unauthorised withdrawals from customers’ bank accounts to Automated Teller Machine (ATM) day debit card swapping or fraud.

He said that the modus operandi of the fraudsters involved keeping a debit card from the same bank and swapping the card in the guise of helping a confused bank customer at any ATM point.

“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.

“This card swapping typically happens at any service delivery point, such as Point of Sale (POS) terminals and ATM points, among others,” Oyewale said.

He said that the fraudulent practice was gaining momentum across the country, and the banking public was enjoined to be more circumspect in the use of debit cards.

The commission listed the useful tips to be adopted by the banking public to avoid further financial losses, including keeping cards in sight or in a safe place after making any transaction and ensuring that the card actually belongs to oneself.

“Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transactions, set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card are also vital in stopping fraudsters.

“You could also cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at a POS terminal/ATM and never 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 if 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 make use of it whenever it is misplaced or stolen.

“Dial the USSD code 966911# and follow the pop-up instructions to block your ATM card instantly,” the EFCC advised.

Oyewale said the commission would not relent in safeguarding personal, corporate, and national finances in its quest to rid the nation of all forms of economic and financial crimes. (NAN)

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