Judith Okoro, a Lagos resident, has recounted to FIJ how N170,000 was stolen from her Guaranty Trust Bank account (GTB) after her debit card got trapped in an automated teller machine (ATM).
Speaking with FIJ, Okoro said she needed to withdraw money on April 28 when she stopped at a branch of the bank at Iba, Jakande road, Isolo-Ikotun, Lagos.
She said she first inserted her card into the machine to check her account balance but it was ejected.
“I suspected my card was ejected because I was taking too much time,” she told FIJ.
The finance expert said when she retrieved and re-slotted it, she observed that the screen went blank and she couldn’t complete her transaction.
“After I reinserted my debit card, the screen went blank, and I pressed the cancel button several times for the machine to eject my card, all to no avail,” said Okoro.
“Afterwards, I noticed the machine was starting to blink. Someone in the queue said my card might just have been trapped. I refused to believe it and hoped for a miracle that my card would be ejected again.”
Okoro said when the machine didn’t eject her card, she waited, hoping luck would still smile on her, but debit alerts thronged her phone while her card was still trapped there.
“While I was still waiting, someone came up to use the ATM, but it didn’t dispense. She removed her card and left. I was still there when I received a debit of N170,000,” she said.
“I ran into the bank to complain, and I met a security officer who asked me to return the following day.
“When I returned to the bank the following day, the officials I met claimed I had used a PoS to perform the transaction. What was more shocking was that they said they saw me in their CCTV when they investigated, but they did not see my card.
“How did my card crawl out? How did the debit happen on my account. GTBank has failed to provide answers to these questions.”
When FIJ sent an inquiry to GTBank, our reporter received an automated response that our account number did not exist, even though that was not the request.
“Dear Customer, the provided account number does not exist. Please recheck and send,” the bank wrote.
On WhatsApp, the bank stopped responding after asking for the transaction details of the fraudulent withdrawal.