Last week, I posted about how we recovered N15,000 from a fraudulent Instagram seller who refused to deliver a product or make a refund after 5 weeks of paying to the company’s account.
Some people with similar cases contacted me and I explained the Process.
On Monday14th May, I got a message from a group member that she paid N22,850 to a DHL agent on the 8th of May to help her pick up an item from Ghana to be delivered in Nigeria. After payment, the so-called agent stopped picking her calls and drops the call when she uses another number. She called the Customer service of GTBank and they asked her to report to the police, typically this process takes forever but the CBN already has a regulation for addressing cases like this but the Banks are often unhelpful and they easily push you to the police.
So I sent her GTBank Fraud desk email to report the case and again they pushed her to the police, the Fraud Desk responded that ” we engaged Ecobank on the disputed transfer, but we were informed that the beneficiary had already withdrawn the transferred sum. However, we urge you to formally report this matter to any law enforcement agency whom we expect would engage the concerned banks in the course of their investigation and possibly apprehend/prosecute the culprit(s)”.
I was shocked by the response because the CBN guideline is clear that the Sending Bank in this case GTBank should report to the law enforcement agents. So we forwarded a guide on how to respond to such issues and included a section from the CBN Regulation on Instant (Inter-bank) Electronic Funds Transfer Services in Nigeria. “The regulation prescribed what should be done for Transfer recall (section 10.4, see reference below) at no point did CBN or NIBSS ask the customer to directly contact law enforcement agents. Section 10.4.4 categorically states that “Where the contested beneficiary has utilized the fund such that lien could not be placed, and he/she refuses to fund the beneficiary account to facilitate refund, the Receiving Entity’s Internal Auditors shall watch-list the customer’s BVN and the Sending Entity may report the incident to law enforcement agencies”.
After stating what CBN regulation states, GTBank Fraudesk responded that they are are very aware of the section quoted, however, the actions that can be taken on this matter are limited for the following reasons:
i. the funds transferred to the beneficiary’s account have already been withdrawn and as such, a recall of the funds is not feasible.
ii. The beneficiary’s account is a mobile money wallet, i.e a Tier 1 account without BVN. This category of account may receive a daily cumulative limit of N50,000 and BVN is not required as part of the KYC documentation (Please refer to the CBN circular ref: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/04/007).
ii. In light of the above, you will agree that it is not feasible to initiate a watch-list. Notwithstanding, Ecobank had already notified us that the account is on a post-no-debit (PND) alert.
You can see how unhelpful the Bank was until we quoted the section of the regulation, which made a request for a post-no-debit (PND) alert on the account, this is because some Bankers don’t know the regulation or they are just being lazy to help customers and Customers as well do not know about the process to address the issue. CBN as a regulator has given various guidelines which you can find on their website, and what we are trying to do through Citizens Connect is share information on how to address this day to day issues citizens encounter with service providers.
Yesterday evening, I got a call from the victim that her N22,850 was refunded yesterday evening. If you don’t report fraudsters they will keep defrauding more people, we also need to insist on the banks to track and put such fraudulent accounts on Alert.
I would also advise that you stop paying for products or services using private accounts, ask for a Corporate Account, a fraudulent seller or service provider can give you a Mobile Money Wallet type account which does not require BVN for KYC documentation for account opening, they have a cumulative daily withdrawal limit of N50,000 (for more details see the CBN circular ref: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/04/007).
This so-called DHL agent used a Mobile Money Wallet to deceive unsuspecting customer when the account got funded, Ecobank then returned the money. I hope the bank goes beyond refunds and report these fraudsters to the EFCC and the police.
If you have questions or similar experience please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can also post you questions as a comment.