30.06.2022 Featured FCMB Customer Received N485,000 From an Unknown Account. Now, She Fears for Her Life

Published 30th Jun, 2022

By Basit Jamiu

Brenda Anyanwu, owner of Brendazt Global Enterprise, was managing her business on June 8 when she heard a beep prompt on her phone indicating that a message had entered. The Lagos-based business owner grudgingly checked and saw a credit alert of N485,000 from an unknown Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) account.

It was unusual, so she became terrified and began to think of what to do. Just before proceeding to the next action, she said she received a call from the supposed owner.

READ ALSO: Six Months after, FCMB Fails to Refund Customer’s N66,000

“I received a call from the owner telling me that he mistakenly sent the money to my account. He said he was not a fraudster. First, I was surprised by how they got my phone number,” she said.

Anyanwu said she was surprised that they knew her full name and account number, as she had never given it to anyone.

“Since I opened this account, I have never given it out to anyone and I have never done a transaction on it,” she said.

Anyanwu told FIJ that while she was preparing to notify the authorities, the sender traced her shop.

“I was not at the shop at the time. They were told to go find me at my mother’s shop which was close by. They told my mother they came to see me. She inquired about the reason for the visit and they said they came to patronise me. When she probed further, they told her they came as a result of the money that was transferred into my account,” she said.

At that point, Anyanwu told FIJ, she was clearly worried that her life might be in danger. “They know my name and my account number. Now they know my mother’s shop. My life is in danger,” she told FIJ.

Anyanwu said she suspected a fraudulent activity, and that if they got the money from a legitimate source, they should have no problem following the standard procedure to retrieve it.

“I had hoped that the account officer would reach out to me and let me know how the money could be removed from my account without bringing problem to me. I have no use for the money, but I want to be on a safer side so that I won’t be involved in any criminal activity,” she said.

Anyanwu told FIJ that the pressure from the supposed owner did not stop. She said he called everyday, texted her, visited her shop when she was not available and went to her mother’s shop.

READ ALSO: FCMB Customer Was Debited for a Failed Withdrawal on a Fidelity Bank ATM. 2 Years After, He Has Not Been Refunded

“Eventually, the branch manager called me and when he introduced himself as such, I thought this was a ploy from the supposed owner because I requested for such. So I did not believe the branch manager one bit,” she said.

Anyanwu stated that she contacted her account agent after the call and asked to see him at the bank. She also called the FCMB head office to file a complaint regarding the mysterious credit.

“I told the account officer we needed to follow the procedure. I don’t want the EFCC to arrest me over an issue I know nothing about. If I give them and they vanish, I don’t know what may happen eventually. I told the account officer I need to find out how these people got my details and the address of my shop. How did they know all this sensitive information about me?” She asked.

Anyanwu said she received a call from a GTB branch manager the following day, informing her that it was an erroneous transfer and confirming that they are aware of the situation.

” I told him that I wanted the standard procedure to be followed. I should receive a mail from GTB email address informing me about this transfer and I wouldn’t hesitate to comply with any directive that would lead to the removal of the money from my account. I told him that the email would serve as evidence in case anything goes wrong,” she said.

“I received an email from GTB address as requested and I responded that the money could be removed from my account, adding that I was not the owner.”

An email from FCMB

Anyanwu told FIJ that she was hoping that after her response, it would end there, but then she received a call from the owner again a week later.

Anyawu’s response to FCMB’s email

“When I saw the call I thought this man had been settled by them. But they started begging me that they didn’t want to go to court to pay N80,000 for a court order. They said they would give me N35,000 to help them out,” said Anyawu.

Anyanwu told FIJ that she declined, insisting that she wanted things to be done the right way.

“My husband told me that the branch manager and the supposed owner had seen that I could not be used, and that my insistence on involving the bank put them and their ploy in shambles. I received a message from the guy telling me I was a wicked woman. As I speak to you now, the money is in my account and I no longer feel safe as I don’t know what these people may be up to next.”

FIJ made several calls to FCMB and GTB, but they were not answered. Emails sent to them had also not been responded to at press time.

When FIJ contacted the alleged owner, who identified himself as Ezekiel, he confirmed the incident, insisting that it was an erroneous transfer.

Ezekiel said he sells gadgets in Lagos and that the money was supposed to be transferred to a colleague.

“I contacted my bank and they sent a mail to FCMB, because they didn’t have the permission to put a lien on the account,” he said.

Ezekiel said she tracked Anyawu’s store by checking it out on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website.

“Brendazt Global Enterprise is registered with CAC. Her business details are online. That’s how I got the number. I went to her because it is not illegal to call her or go to her shop,” he said.

Ezekiel said that when Anyanwu requested it, he went to the bank’s branch manager for his help. “He called, and when he was about to start explaining, she ended the call. When the bank manager called her again, she said that the only way she could send the money was to receive a mail,” he said.

“When she received the email, she only said ‘go ahead’, and the branch manager said he needed a letterhead from her to proceed.”

However, FIJ gathered that the branch manager did not request for a letterhead statement in the email sent to Anyawu. Also, there is a similarity between Anyanwu’s account and the supposed recipient. Where Anyanwu’s account number has ’49’, the supposed recipient’s account number has ’94’.

Ezekiel confirmed to FIJ that she offered Anyanwu N35,000 to send the money back to him. “I offered her N35,000 for her stress,” he said. “I wanted to get it done without having to go through court to spend a humongous amount. So it is not like a bribe.”

Published 30th Jun, 2022

By Basit Jamiu


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