The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered prevalent sharp practices at Automated Teller Machine (ATM) galleries where fraudsters under the guise of helping confused bank customers hurriedly swap identical debit cards while memorizing the unsuspecting customers’ PINs used in trying the fake cards.
In the process, the cloned cards get stuck in the machine due to a wrong pin with the fraudster quickly abandoning their victims after advising them to report to the bank. This is while they make away with the victim’s card to make immediate withdrawals from the account.
In a statement on Tuesday, the anti-graft agency said it discovered the nefarious scheme after investigating barrage of complaints from Nigerians over unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts.
According to the EFCC, this card swapping scam typically happens in any service delivery point, such as Point of Sale, PoS terminals, and ATM galleries, among others. It warned that the fraudulent practice is gaining momentum across the country and advised the banking public to be more circumspect in the use of debit cards.
In view of the foregoing, EFCC listed the following tips as how the banking public can avoid further financial losses:
1. Cards should be kept in sight or in a safe place. Whenever you get your card back after making any payment, make sure it is actually your card and not just one that looks similar.
2. Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transaction.
3. Set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card.
4. Cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at the POS terminal/ATM.
5. Do not be in a rush to make payments or withdrawals and request assistance only from officials of the bank.
6. Call your banks to block your ATM cards immediately when your cards are stuck in the ATM machines or whenever you observe any irregularity.
7. Ensure you know your bank’s ATM offline blocking code and quickly make use of it whenever it is misplaced or stolen.
8. Dial the USSD code *966*911# and follow the pop-up instructions to block your ATM card instantly.
The EFCC assured that it will not relent in safeguarding personal, corporate and national finances in its resolve to rid Nigeria of all forms of economic and financial crimes.