Pa Lawrence Aderemi Ariwodola, a retired teacher, has narrated how devastated he was as ₦150,984 left the Access Bank account he had been operating for years.
Pa Ariwodola, living in Lagos State, explained to FIJ on Saturday that on October 28, 2022, he received a couple of debit alerts on his phone, which disturbed him in many ways.
Ariwodola said he had no knowledge of how the transactions, for which he was notified via the short message system (SMS), came about.
He said that to forestall further damage, he immediately reported at the nearest Access Bank branch, where his account was immediately blocked.
“On Friday, October 28, 2022, I’d got continuous debit alerts 16 times before I ran to the nearest branch of Access Bank to block my ATM card. I also lodged a formal complaint with the bank,” the old man told FIJ.
“On total count, ₦150,984 was taken out of my account, and I can’t explain how it was done. I never released my information to anybody, so my account should not have been vulnerable to fraud.”
The unauthorised transactions are marked in red
“Two days before October 28, I had made use of my card at a POS terminal very close to my house. The value of the said transaction was N20,000 and it was without any issue.
“When I was sure the bank had granted my request to block the account, I proceeded to the Aromire branch of the bank, where I originally opened my account.”
Asked if the bank offered to help him in any way, the senior citizen told FIJ that he met with the branch manager, who told him that his account had been compromised, and bluntly said there was nothing the bank could do.
“The bank didn’t promise anything. I met the branch manager and tabled my situation. After listening to me, the manager said my account had been compromised and that there was nothing the bank could do,” he said.
“I felt disappointed and downcast. Although there had always been some minor deductions on my account, I had never experienced this kind of issue in my life.”
He further told FIJ that he had deleted the SMS alerts sent to him as a way of protesting against the bank and making good his resolve not to “have anything to do with Access Bank again”.
“The incident came to me as a rude shock. As a way of protesting against the bank, I have deleted all the debit alerts that I received on my phone, because I have decided never to do anything with Access Bank again,” said Pa Ariwodola.
“That was all I had in the account and since I have lost it all to the bank, I am not banking with them again.”
The old man explained that the unauthorised transactions impacted him badly and had frizzled out his confidence “in the banking system in the country”.
Speaking with FIJ over the phone on January 16, Christianah, a customer service centre agent of the bank, said the “customer account might have been linked to the platform through which transaction took place or someone might have used the card without his knowledge”. She further asked this reporter to advise Pa Ariwodola to call the bank for assistance.
The elderly man spoke with Medlin via the bank’s customer helpline as requested, who also told him there was no help in sight.