A customer of GTCO Bank in Ibadan, Oyo State, has cried foul over some fraudulent transactions allegedly perpetrated by some yet-to-be apprehended nefarious scammers since October 2020.
The customer, Oluwagbemiga Ishola, who is a lecturer, said after he reported the fraudulent transactions to the police and the bank, the bank had since barred him from operating the account and other accounts in other banks.
He narrated how his account was used as a conduit to transfer N586, 000 in tranches and instead of the GTCO to trace and apprehend the perpetrators they decided to place a restriction on his account and through his BVN he registered with them also placed restrictions on his accounts in other banks thereby subjecting him to untold financial hardships.
He narrated: “I woke up on June 6, 2020, to see that I had been sent several credit and debit alerts. The funds came in bits, like N50,000, N20,000 and N10,000. During the period, I also received several One Time Passwords (OTPs).
“The most surprising thing was that, all through the period, I had my phone and debit card with me. I never misplaced both at any point in time. I also never gave my card to anyone to use.
“As soon as the funds entered, they left my account. In total, the money was N586,000. It meant my account had been used as a conduit during the fraud.
“The following week, I visited the bank’s branch in Bodija, Ibadan, to lodge a formal complaint on the issue. This incident happened during the pandemic period.
“They then told me they would carry out their own investigation and get back to me. They would later come back to say that the money left my account and went to unknown recipients.
“Their investigation also showed that the two GTBank accounts the N586,000 came from belonged to one Otitoju Taiwo Victoria and one Maureen Innocent-Eke.’’
He added: “The fraudsters actually perpetrated the fraud using my account as a channel, and without me knowing anything about it. I knew nothing about it.
“Since then, I have abandoned the account and started using the accounts I have with other banks.”
Suspecting that the issue would soon affect the other accounts he has in other banks, Ishola said he went to ECOBANK to make some withdrawals but could not as restriction has been slammed on it.
“After about a month, I wanted to withdraw from my Ecobank account but was told that a restriction had been placed on the account. They also said the instruction to place the restriction had come from GTB,” said the academic.
“They said GTB told them to place the restriction because they believed it was being run by a fraudulent person. This was after I had told them how my account was used as a conduit.”
According to Ishola, he obtained a police report and a court order on the matter and submitted it to a GTB branch in October 2020.
“The official I met at the bank’s Bodija branch said he was going to work on my account and in truth, he did. But I insisted that I was no longer interested in using my GTB account.
“As a matter of fact, I wanted the account closed so I could concentrate on using other accounts for my savings and needs. The official then said he would not be able to close the account.
“The official even mischievously redirected me to the other banks, saying I should go and ask them for the reason behind my ordeal. This was after I had been made to understand that the issue originated from GTB.
“Now, things became even more complicated for me because the restriction is tied to my BVN and I did my enrolment at GTB. This means that my chances of ever getting the issue resolved still lies with GTB,’’ he further narrated.
When he could not get the bank to resolve the problem, he decided to try other options.
Ishola said: “When they would not resolve my issues, I resorted to using online and virtual accounts in 2022. When I linked my BVN with the newly opened accounts, I had no issue whatsoever.
“Last week, however, I suddenly could no longer use the newly opened accounts anymore. When I reached out to the virtual banks, they told me GTB had also reached out to them to place my accounts on restriction.
“I went back to the Bodija branch last week and they told me that the issue might never be resolved. This means that GTB deliberately resolved not to trace the real fraudsters and bring them to book. Why should I be the one suffering for a fraud I know nothing about?
“The branch manager at the Bodija branch even once deliberately misled me by saying that I should obtain a court order from a magistrate’s court instead of a high court. I later found out on my own that the order had to come from a high court.
“Presently, I can’t even have access to all my funds in other banks because GTBank has refused to resolve my issue.”
Efforts by Persecondnews to get GTCO’s reaction to the nefarious scammers’ activities and the restriction placed on the customer’s were unsuccessful as the Corporate Affairs and Customer Care Department were unresponsive.