Dada Cecilia Funmilayo, an Osun State-based civil servant, has narrated to FIJ how she lost N1,261,000 to a man after an ATM withheld her debit card.
Funmilayo told FIJ on Monday that a First Bank ATM at the Gbongan-Ibadan road branch, Osogbo, Osun State, retained her card when she wanted to withdraw some money from her Access Bank account.
She reported the incident to Access Bank and it was shown in the bank’s CCTV footage that when the machine released the card, a man next to her in the queue picked it up.
“Early in the morning of May 18, a First Bank ATM at Gbongan-Ibadan road branch retained my bank card and I lodged a complaint in the same bank when they opened for business,” she said.
“An official in the bank helped me check for the card and told me they could not find it in their machine. I was then asked to complain to Access Bank, which is my bank.
“I made a proper complaint in the bank on the same day. I was, however, left in total confusion when I got three debit alerts for withdrawals totaling N1,261,000 from my account few hours after my complaint.
“The bank’s CCTV footage later revealed that a man behind me in the queue was helping me input my card PIN. I was not conscious of his intervention until shown in the camera.
“For a very long time, I had been using the ATM and I needed no assistance to withdraw.
“I think he hypnotised me to succeed at pretending to be helping me to enter my PIN.
“I have written letters to the Consumer Protection Department under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but nothing has come out of it.”
Funmilayo explained that the incident had impacted on her as she had not been able to come out of a debt servicing condition the occurrence had drawn her into.
“Since it happened, I have been struggling to settle my debts with those people who kept the money with me,” said Funmilayo.
“A large part of the money belonged to so many people. My own money out of the entire money was N400,000.
“As a salary earner, it is even more depressing. I never expected to suffer this kind of loss in life.
“I have explored all official channels to find a solution, but it has been futile. I had hoped that since the CCTV captured the thief’s face, security agents could use same to trace him.
“I reported the matter at Zone XI in Osogbo with the hope that they could assist. It turned out that they appeared helpless.
“All this has forced me to lose any hope of recovering the money. My husband and I resorted to obtaining a loan to refund my customers, who owned most of the money.”
From the description of the withdrawal, it was done using a POS machine along Opebi road, Ikeja, Lagos State.
FIJ reached out to Access Bank via email on Monday and it promised to provide feedback on the request within 24 hours. As of press time, however, the bank had not responded as promised.
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