The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has alerted Nigerians to Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card-swapping fraudsters at ATM locations and Point of Sales (POS) terminals.
The warning follows a series of complaints from the public to the anti-graft agency about unauthorized bank withdrawals from their accounts using their debit cards.
The commission which issued the alert in a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Dele Oyewale, disclosed that the fraudsters, who engage in this activity typically keep a debit card from the same bank and under the guise of assisting a confused bank customer at an ATM, swiftly swap the card while memorizing the PIN used.
Explaining their modus operandi, the statement said: “They swap the card in such a hurry that the customer would not notice and at the same time memorize the pin used in trying the fake cards.
“These cards get stuck in the machine due to a wrong pin, and the fraudster quickly abandons the victim, advising him/her to report to the bank while making away with the victim’s card to make immediate withdrawals from the account.
“This card swapping typically happens at any service delivery point such as Point of Sales (POS) terminals and ATM points, among others.”
The commission, however, provided a list of helpful tips for the public to prevent additional financial losses, such as keeping cards in view or secure after completing any transaction and verifying that the card legitimately belongs to the cardholder.
“Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transactions, set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card are also vital in stopping fraudsters.
“You could also cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at a POS terminal/ATM and never be in a rush to make payments or withdrawals, and request assistance only from officials of the bank.
“Call your banks to block your ATM cards immediately if 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,” the statement added.