On September 4, 2020, Faith Omokaro, an Edo State resident, needed to urgently transfer N50,000 to her bother-in-law who happened to be a Sterling Bank customer.
In order to carry out the transaction, she decided to visit a First Bank branch in New Benin, Edo State. Unfortunately, Omokaro’s debit card was seized by the machine while she was trying to transfer the money on one of the ATMs at the bank.
She told FIJ that she immediately reported the incident to the security guard on duty and was told to come to the branch the following Monday so she could get back her card.
“The incident happened on a Friday, after close of business, and as a result, I was told to come on Monday morning, which was September 7, to get my debit card back,” Omokaro said.
“However, the following day, which happened to be a Saturday, I was at home when all of a sudden, I started receiving debit alerts on my phone. In the end, a total sum of N880,700 was withdrawn from my account through the use of my card.
“When I went to the customer care desk of the bank to complain the following Monday, a statement of account was printed out, detailing how the amount had been withdrawn from my account.”
Omokaro said she was advised to get a police report so they could help her investigate the fraud.
“But when I came back with the report, the operations manager told me there was nothing she could do on the incident. That got me confused because they were the ones that initially told me to go and get a report. All of a sudden, they are now telling me they could no longer assist me in recovering the money or the identity of the perpetrator,” she said.
Omokaro said she further obtained a court order so that the identity of the fraudster could be revealed but made no headway with it.
“I later reported the incident to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and was told the perpetrator’s account had been blocked. However, till we speak, I still don’t know whether I’ll get the money back or not. I am still in the dark over what the likely outcome will be,” he said.
“It is so unfortunate that First Bank, where I have been a customer for over 20 years, would not make efforts to help me recover my money.”
FIJ contacted First Bank’s customer care desk via email for comments on the incident, but no response had been received at press time.
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