EFCC warns Nigerians to beware of ATM swap fraudsters

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Nigerians should be cautious of ATM swap scammers, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned. The commission has received a plethora of public complaints on the issue.

The guidance was provided in a statement provided to newsmen in Ibadan on Tuesday by Mr. Dele Oyewale, the Head of Media and Publicity at the EFCC.

According to Oyewale, the Commission’s investigations have connected fraudulent activity or Automated Teller Machine (ATM) day debit card swapping to unauthorised withdrawals made from clients’ bank accounts.
According to him, the fraudsters’ method of operation was maintaining a debit card from the same bank and exchanging it at any ATM under the pretense of assisting a bewildered bank customer.

“They quickly switch out the card so the consumer won’t notice, and they also make sure they remember the pin that was used to try the phony cards.

“When a victim’s card becomes stuck in the machine because they entered the wrong pin, the fraudster promptly leaves the scene, telling the victim to report the incident to the bank while stealing the card and using it to make instant withdrawals from the account.

“This card swapping usually occurs at any service delivery point, including ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals, among others,” according to Oyewale.

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He stated that the fraudulent activity was becoming more widespread in the nation and advised the banking public to utilize debit cards with greater caution.
The committee provided a list of helpful recommendations for the banking public to follow in order to prevent additional financial losses. Some of these recommendations included making sure that the card is truly yours and keeping it visible or in a secure location after every transaction.

“Another crucial step in thwarting fraudsters is to routinely review your bank records for any unusual transactions and activate transaction alerts to track any activity on your accounts or with your bank card.

When entering your PIN at POS terminals or ATMs, you can also cover the keyboard with your hand or body. You should also never rush to make payments or withdrawals and should only ask bank employees for assistance.

“As soon as you notice any anomaly or your cards become stuck in ATMs, call your banks to have them blocked.

Make sure you are familiar with the ATM off-line blocking code provided by your bank and know how to use it in an emergency if it is lost or stolen.

“To instantly block your ATM card, dial the USSD code *966*911# and follow the pop-up instructions,” the EFCC said.

According to Oyewale, the panel would not give up on protecting individual, business, and governmental money in its effort to purge the country of all financial and economic crimes.

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