Four thousand unsuspecting Bank customers have reportedly lost a whopping sum of N6.5 million to fraudsters currently on the prowl across the state.
It was gathered that since BVN was made compulsory for all Banking transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), there have been hue and cry of increasing loss of funds to fraudsters by Bank customers.
Investigation revealed that with the implementation of the BVN, otherwise known as Bank Verification Number, policy in the country, fraudsters have intensified their activities of obtaining money illegally from the unsuspecting Nigerians, many of whom do their businesses mainly in Banks.
According to our investigation, for over three years now, the conmen have defrauded several people in Asaba, and its environs including Ughelli and Warri metropolis of their hard earned money.
This has also worsened the status of some persons to wallow in poverty, while others lost their savings in the process.
Sources said the fraudsters more often cash in on vulnerability of desperate customers who get panicked at the slighted development to enrich themselves at the detriment of their victims.
Their modus operandi is to send text messages to members of the public requesting them to update their BVN which they claim was purportedly deactivated in the process of registration for the BVN.
For instance, the message thus reads: “Dear customer due to our BVN system upgrade, your ATM card has been deactivated, to reactivate, kindly call CBN customer care on 08161751*** now”.
Thousands of these messages are sent out on a daily basis, and some unsuspecting Nigerians are responding despite warnings from Banks.
Banks have, warned that customers should not honour such requests, and to call or email the bank to confirm veracity of such claims, but some people are hitherto patronizing these fraudsters.
But the Delta State Police Commissioner, Muhammad Mustafa, who confirmed that fraudsters were on the prowl in the state, disclosed that the police have arrested six persons in connection with alleged fraudulent banking transaction in Asaba, and Ibusa communities, adding that the suspects, upon interrogation, confessed to the crime as they will be charged to court on completion of investigation.
Recently, a woman, Mrs. Evelyn Okolie, in her 50s, lost N260,000 through this process of unsuspecting text message.
She was said to have received the message, and immediately responded by calling the number, and before long, the fraudsters swooped on her, and collected money from her account without her knowledge.
Unfortunately for her there was nothing the bank officials could do to help her at that point in time because the people had perfected the acts of cloning ATM cards, and using same to withdraw money from other people’s account.
Speaking further, the State Police Boss however assured members of the public of the police assistance to fish out the fraudsters, and bring them to book