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EFCC warn Nigerians on ATM card swapping fraud – here’s what you need to know

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a warning to Nigerians regarding the increasing incidents of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Debit Card swapping fraud.

According to the spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, the Commission has received numerous complaints from concerned citizens about unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts.

Oyewale explained that the fraudsters involved in this illegal activity keep a debit card from the same bank and pretend to assist confused customers at ATM points. In a swift move, they swap the customer’s card while memorizing the PIN used with the fake card. The victim remains unaware as the fraudster abandons them, leaving the victim’s card stuck in the machine due to a wrong PIN. The fraudster then advises the victim to report the issue to the bank while making immediate withdrawals from the victim’s account.

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This card swapping scheme can occur at various service delivery points, including Point of Sale (POS) terminals and ATMs. The EFCC has urged the banking public to exercise caution when using debit cards to prevent further financial losses.

To avoid falling victim to this fraud, the Commission recommends the following tips: always keep your card in sight or in a secure place, verify that the card returned to you after making a payment is indeed yours, regularly check your bank statements for any unfamiliar transactions, set up transaction alerts to monitor activity on your accounts, and cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at POS terminals or ATMs. Stay vigilant and protect your finances from these fraudulent activities.

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The Commission added that in view of the foregoing, the following tips may be useful in avoiding further financial losses by the banking public: Cards should be kept in sight or 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. Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transaction,” – Oyewale said.

“Set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card. Cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at POS terminal/ATM machines.

“Do not be in a rush to make payments or withdrawals and request for assistance only from officials of the bank. Call your banks to block your ATM cards immediately when your cards are stuck in the ATM machines or whenever you observe any irregularity.

“Ensure you know your bank’s ATM offline blocking code and quickly make use of it whenever it is misplaced or stolen. Dial the USSD code *966*911# and follow the pop-up instructions to block your ATM card instantly.”

Oyewale said the EFCC will not relent in safeguarding personal, corporate and national finances in its quest to rid our nation of all forms of economic and financial crimes.

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