By BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE
In apparent reflection of the rising incidence of electronic payment fraud, a fraudster withdrew N1.9 million from the bank account of a customer through ATM in one week.
This was disclosed by Tam Tamunokonbia, Head, Consumer Protection Council, Lagos Office. Speaking at the maiden summit of Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) in Lagos last week, he said that ATM fraud is one of the commonest complaints received by the Council from bank customers.
He said in addition to this are: Illegal bank charges as against the minimum re-discount rate; Non-disclosure of terms and conditions by Banks and financial service providers; Mobile Payment Systems – online trading and Improper cheque verification.
Citing example of these complaints, he said, “A lady’s N1.9 million withdrawn in one week without alert – case in Enugu High Court. A Company was charged in excess of N1, 984,662.40, another in excess of N592, 681 .61, and another in excess of N552,597.01.”
He said the general responses of banks to complaints against ATM fraud are: “Customer compromised PIN numbers. Camera footage could not be generated.We are investigating and will get back.” On complaints of excess bank charges,he said banks’ responses are: The customer signed an agreement; The customer was given the form; It is an error etc.”
Consequently,Tamunokonbia advised that: “Banks should respect the customer’s rights to disclosure; Banks should provide written terms and conditions in simple language and legible words; Charges and fees should be made known to customers before opening their accounts – no hidden charges; change in terms and conditions should be adequately disclosed to customers – prior notice; Statement of Accounts to be provided to customers at regular intervals; applicable interest rates, how it is calculated and when to apply the rates should be made known to consumers; terms and conditions to be in line with prevailing laws; avoid Council’s summons and prosecution – Section 12, 18 and 21 of the CPC Act, CAP C25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”