First Bank customer raises alarm, alleged staff connive with scammer, duped him of N550,000

Some staff of First Bank Nigeria PLC, one of Nigeria’s retailing Commercial Bank has been accused of conniving with scammers outside to fraudulently transfer the sum of N550,000 from his Company account.

By Peter Usman//:

Relating his ordeal about the Bank’s customer’s desk queer attitude and unwillingness to listen to him after he had complained, he suspected insider conspiracy in the withdrawal of money from his company’s account.

In a letter dated 20th February, 2020, which was addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, a copy of which was made available to leadership newspaper in Abuja, explained that a staff of First Bank on the Customers Desk who was privy to account details of a company, ‘The Waves Publishers Limited’, on the day the company Director,  Ikechukwu Ukpabi was in the bank to be issued an ATM card called him asking for secret code of the card in the guise that he was a staff of First Bank, which he politely obliged.

On why he revealed the secret of the ATM, he said the caller used 08039536026 and identified himself as Henry Balogun from First Bank who reminded him that he was in the bank earlier in the day for an ATM.

The letter explained that on 16th January, 2020, the sum of N50,000 was paid into the Corporate Account of The Waves Publishers Limited and requested for issuance of ATM card on that fateful day.

Then came a call later that day requesting for a secret code of the ATM  by someone who identified himself as Henry Balogun from First Bank.

Convinced that the caller was actually from the Bank, he released the code which made the initially N50,000 to be wired out.

Explaining further, Mr. Ukpabi claimed that he went back to the bank to block the account which the Customers desk officer said it has been blocked.

He insisted to know if it was safe for funds to be paid, but was assured by the customer officer, having explained to him that the Company was expecting money into the account.

Based on the assurance from the Bank, he allowed the sum of N600,000 to be lodged into the account No 2914939756 domiciled with the Bank.

“I immediately withdrew the sum of N100,000 leaving N500,000 and which was unfortunately withdrawn by the scammers on that fateful day”

In the letter of complaint to the Police since 20th February, 2021, asking Police to unravel the circumstances surrounding the fraudulent withdrawal of the sum of N550,000 from the company account has been without response.

The letter said: “I came to the bank on 16th January, 2020 after paying in the sum of N50,000 in my account, I requested for ATM card from the bank  which I received that day and that night.

“Someone called me and said that he is from the First Bank and by name Henry Balogun with his phone number 08039536026 and said that the ATM card I received from the Bank is not activated yet to my BVN details and all my details which I have in the Bank.

“I was convinced that he is from the Bank and I gave him my secret code of my ATM card.  After that day, the sum of N50,000 I have in the account was withdrawn by Henry Balogun and I rushed to the Bank and complained to the Customers care.

The Bank told me they are 419 and I ask him to block the ATM card and to check the account if there is any problem because I was expecting some money at that time.

“He said that I can go on with my business, but I was surprised when my customer paid in money into the said account on the 18th February, 2020 which I withdrew the sum of N100,000.

“Shortly after, I saw alerts coming to my phone; I have to go back to the Bank to know why, but I didn’t understand what the Customers Desk Officer was actually saying.

According to the letter, he suspected the bank officials working with some elements outside to defraud the Waves Publishers Limited which has left him a nightmare up till now.

Checks by our correspondent further revealed that one Mrs. Kanu Oluchukwu Glory, an account holder number 3084288986 with the first bank had her N625,000 fraudulently withdrawn on 25th April, 2019.

Two years after she has been left devastated without the first bank, not forthcoming with refunding of the money.

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