The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a warning to Nigerians regarding the increasing threat of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Debit Card swapping fraud/chargeback fraud.
In response to numerous complaints from citizens facing unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts, the Commission aims to raise awareness about this fraudulent activity.
ATM card-swapping fraud involves criminals replacing a person’s legitimate ATM card with a fake one without their knowledge. The victim unwittingly uses the manipulated card, allowing fraudsters to gain unauthorized access to their bank account and conduct fraudulent transactions.
In these scenarios, criminals may discreetly observe or record a person entering their PIN at an ATM, using methods like hidden cameras or fake card readers to capture card information. Once they have this data, they create a counterfeit card. When the unsuspecting victim uses the compromised ATM, the criminals swap the real card with the fake one. The victim remains unaware while the fraudsters gain access to the card and PIN, enabling them to carry out unauthorized transactions.
Proactive Measures for Self-Protection Against Chargeback Fraud
Woman’s hands holding credit card and typing on keyboard on laptop
Preventive measures include financial institutions and ATM operators implementing security measures and monitoring. However, individuals must also exercise vigilance, covering their PIN to reduce the risk of falling victim to such fraud.
Recent cases highlight the rise of ATM card-swapping fraud in Nigeria, with instances reported in Lagos, Enugu, and Kwara states. To protect against this malady, individuals are advised to stay vigilant at ATMs, regularly check bank statements for unfamiliar transactions, set transaction alerts, maintain keypad confidentiality, avoid rushing transactions, seek official assistance only, and promptly block their card using their bank’s ATM offline blocking code or USSD code 966911# if fraudulent activity is suspected.
Additional tips include being cautious of skimming devices, using ATMs in well-lit, secure areas, and considering contactless payment methods for added security.
The collaborative efforts of financial institutions, law enforcement agencies, and individuals are crucial in combating card-swapping fraud. Prompt reporting of suspicious activity to banks and local authorities is encouraged, and awareness campaigns should be conducted to educate the public about the risks associated with this type of fraud. Staying informed and proactive is key to safeguarding financial well-being in the face of evolving deceptive tactics.