An account holder with Access Bank identified as Akewugberu Abiola Abidemi has narrated how N136,500 was taken out of her account few minutes after her card was trapped in a Sterling Bank ATM located in front of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, on December 27, 2022.
Narrating her sad experience to FIJ, Abidemi said upon inserting her card into the machine, it was trapped and she could not get the money she intended to withdraw.
“I went to FMC where I used a Sterling Bank ATM on December 27. However, the machine swallowed my ATM card and my mission was aborted,” she said.
“Less than 30 minutes after that, I received a debit transaction notification of N136,500, leaving less than N2,000 balance. This left me completely confused as I did not know how that withdrawal came about.
“I headed to Sterling Bank, where I painfully put up a dramatic display: flung away my bag and began shouting on the staff. This drew the attention of their manager, who said that they wouldn’t be able to do anything to assist me as a third-party bank.
“The manager then advised me to approach my bank directly for possible assistance.”
Speaking with emotions on how the incident had impacted her, she said, “The money was my all my savings. I was to pay some workers on my site from the money that day, but when this had happened, I couldn’t pay them.
“I’m now living on the assistance of my sister with whom I went to Sterling and Access banks to complain. I had thought the New Year holiday would be sumptuous for me and my children, but this criminal attack on my account successfully denied us that.”
Asked if she had relayed her complaint to Access Bank, she said she had done that at the bank’s branch located in Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, and the manager had assured her that they would investigate the problem.
In a wireless response to FIJ’s enquiry on December 30, 2022, a Sterling Bank agent, who identified as Ebun Omolaja, asked this reporter to “kindly have the account owner contact us with her account details” for more investigation.
Following the bank’s request, Abidemi spoke with a customer service expert on December 31 and they told her an investigation would be done to get to the root of the complaint.
From the screenshot of the debit alert obtained by FIJ, it was observed that the unauthorized transaction took place on a point of sale (PoS) machine and through an OPay account on December 27.