UBA Bank

17.09.2023 Featured How Fake UBA Twitter Handle Redirected Man to WhatsApp, Stole $1,500 Grant Money

Published 17th Sep, 2023

By Emmanuel Uti

Taiwo, a researcher working in Kogi State, has narrated how scammers disguising as staff of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) defrauded him of $1,500.

Taiwo, who prefers to go by his first name, told FIJ that, in hindsight, he could have avoided this unfortunate situation.

Recounting his ordeal, Taiwo said that after he was announced as the recipient of a grant, it took so long before the issuer sent the money to his account. This made him attempt to contact UBA on Twitter on July 1 for enquiries.

As someone who occasionally contacted the bank’s social media handles for information, Taiwo logged into X(Twitter) and attempted to find the UBA account to inquire about the grant’s arrival process. This seemingly innocuous act would have dire consequences.

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Taiwo explained that upon locating what appeared to be a UBA handle, he initiated a conversation and informed them that an international organisation had recently sent him money and inquired whether the funds had been dispatched to his account.

“While chatting with the account, they sent me a link and requested that I click on it which I did. Upon clicking, I was redirected to WhatsApp. Engaging with the WhatsApp contact, an individual identifying themselves as a UBA staff member asked for my phone number, which I provided,” Taiwo told FIJ.

He continued, “Shortly after sharing my account number, I received a verification code from UBA. At that point, I believed I was indeed interacting with UBA, so when they requested the code, I willingly provided it. The respondent then informed me that no money had been deposited into my account.”

Taiwo stated that on July 14, UBA headquarters contacted him, confirming that Magdalene College had transferred the promised $1,500 into his account. Following their instructions, he promptly visited a UBA branch with a valid means of identification to claim his funds.

Taiwo’s joy was, however, short-lived. That very afternoon, he began receiving a series of debit alerts, each indicating a deduction of N200,000. Bewildered and alarmed, he swiftly reported the incident to a local police station and reached out to UBA’s customer care who asked him to wait until August 2.

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“When the appointed date, August 2, arrived, UBA classified the case as ‘compromised,’ attributing it to my inadvertent sharing of the verification code with the fraudsters. It was then that I realised that I had been dealing with impostors all along, not the genuine UBA account,” Taiwo lamented.

Subsequently, UBA advised Taiwo to engage with an investigative agency of his choosing for further inquiries if he sought to recover his funds. The police recommended that once he obtained a court order, it should be submitted to his bank, and the bank would then forward it to the institutions to which his money had been transferred.

However, despite submitting the court order, Taiwo has encountered delays and is still awaiting a resolution. The bank promised to provide an update by September 8, which, as of now, remains pending.

When FIJ reached out to UBA for comments, the bank requested that further inquiries be postponed until September 21 for a more comprehensive response.

Published 17th Sep, 2023

By Emmanuel Uti


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