Fraudsters’ new tricks at banks’ ATMs
These days, a lot happens at the banks, in and outside the banking halls, including Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) cubicles, all pertaining to fraud.
Most times, those at the receiving end are innocent and unsuspecting customers who are defrauded in the process.
Recently at a new generation bank in Ikotun, a suburb of Lagos, a young fraudster was outsmarted by his victim, and he ended up at the Police station nearby.
On Easter Monday, around 11am, the crowd at the functional ATM points was scary. Being a public holiday, and with most other banks’ ATMs around out of service or unable to dispense cash, customers besieged this particular bank to make withdrawals.
The queue was discouraging to the impatient and it was long enough to put off anyone that was not pressed for cash that day. But it was moving slowly.
At some point, a well-dressed, handsome-looking, dark-complexioned young man was dragged back into the bank premises by three men- a customer and two bank staff (security).
On enquiry, the customer (victim) explained that he was on the queue, with the suspect behind him and as it was his turn to use the ATM, he brought out his card, obviously not realising that the young man behind has seen and ostensibly memorised the last four digits of his ATM card.
As he moved to use the machine, the young man asked to use his phone to make a call, saying he had no credit in his own phone.
Innocently and unsuspecting, he handed his phone to the man behind him on the queue as he busied himself with making withdrawals.
Immediately he was done, he received a debit alert on his withdrawal, just as the young man handed him his phone and was leaving, saying he was no longer going to use the ATM.
And just then, another debit alert for the transfer of N70, 000 to another bank came in. Puzzled, he wondered how come, when he did not make such a transfer.
Looking up, he saw the young man moving fast out of the vicinity, looking behind intermittently, as he crossed the road and went behind a parked commercial bus that hid him from view.
Agitated, but calm, the victim remembered giving the young man his phone and reckoned that he could have used it to defraud him instead of calling someone to confirm an account number.
So, he followed casually and caught up with the young man behind the bus and held him, asking him to refund his money, which the fraudster denied.
At that point, a friend of the victim passing by saw him and what was playing out and intervened. His friend explained everything to him and they both dragged the young man back to the bank premises across the road and told security men around what had happened.
Sensing that his game was up and fearing a mob action, the young man admitted defrauding the customer and agreed to use his ATM to refund the money there and then, which he did.
Thereafter, he was taken to the Police station a stone throw away for further investigation, not before customers around had taken his photographs, with a promise to post them on the Internet and social media to alert other customers of the new trick of fraudsters at ATM points.
It was obviously a bad day for the young man, who looked calm all the while, without showing any remorse or regret for his act.