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Access Bank

22.05.2024 Featured N200,000 Disappears From Lagos Resident’s Access Bank Account While Asleep

Published 22nd May, 2024

By Abimbola Abatta

When Grace, a Lagos State resident, woke up around 4.30 am on April 30 and picked up her phone, she found multiple unauthorised debits amounting to N200,000 on her Access Bank account.

Grace was shocked because she found that a one-time password (OTP) she never requested had been sent to her number. All of these happened while she was fast asleep.

“I woke up to many messages on my phone. When I checked, they were from Access Bank. The first message was a one-time password (OTP) to my number. This OTP was never given out to anyone, because I was even sleeping when the messages were sent. After the OTP was sent, the person went ahead to withdraw my money in N20,000s until N200,000 was withdrawn from my account that day,” Grace told FIJ.

The OTP received from Access Bank
The OTP

READ ALSO: For 4 Months, First Bank Denies Customer Access to His N360,000

unauthorised debits
Part of the unauthorised debits
Part of the debits

Grace said she logged in to her mobile app to transfer the money left in her account somewhere else. Then she emailed the bank that morning but got no response.

“Around 8 am, I went to the nearest Access Bank branch in Oshodi on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. When I got there to report, the bank workers were trying to tell me that there was nothing they could do, that the transfer was done using my phone, and that it was impossible for someone else to transfer my money using USSD,” she told FIJ.

“I refused to accept the whole story they were telling me. I know that if the bank did not generate an OTP, there is no way that money would have been removed. They ought to have known what happened to my account.

“Due to how I was reacting at the bank and my insistence that I would not leave until they told me what happened to my money and when they would reverse it, they told me to go. They said they would work on it and get back to me. On Thursday, May 2, I got a call from the branch I reported to, and they said they did not have any update yet.”

To keep up with Access Bank’s efforts to help her recover her N200,000, Grace sent another email to the bank on May 6, and they responded to her the following day via email and SMS.

A screenshot of the text sent on May 7 and obtained by FIJ shows the following: “Fraud has been received. An update will be provided on 5/8/2024.”

However, when Access Bank sent its update via SMS on May 8, it was not the positive feedback Grace had hoped to receive. The bank wrote to her: Fraud is closed with feedback: we empathise for the loss of funds.”

Grace's email sent to Access Bank on May 6
Grace’s email sent on May 6
The bank's responses on May 7 and 8
The bank’s responses on May 7 and 8

READ ALSO: PoS Agent Still Can’t Retrieve Her N90,000 After Credit Transfer Reversal by Access Bank

This message got Grace so angry that she returned to the Oshodi branch, which she had previously visited. “I shouted at the people I met there, and they said they would do their investigation and get back to me,” she disclosed.

“I kept going to the bank. Then on May 17, they sent an e-mail and told me to get a court order. This court order will cost me N40,000 to N50,000 based on the inquiries I have made. So, Access Bank is expecting me to spend money on top of the one I kept under their care, which they lost.”

When FIJ reached out to the bank via X on Wednesday, Minah, a customer support representative, wrote: “Thank you for reaching out to us and I am sorry to learn of the unauthorised withdrawal on customer’s account. Kindly inform account holder to reach out to us for further assistance as information on the customer’s account cannot be divulged to a third party for security reasons.”

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Published 22nd May, 2024

By Abimbola Abatta

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