Over the week, one Miss Chiamaka Agim went viral on social media, calling out Zenith Bank after a fraudulent unauthorized transfer was carried out from her account where a tune of four million Naira was siphoned on the 9th of January 2023. In other to sway public sympathy, Chiamaka resorted to all kinds of threats saying she will commit suicide if her money is not returned to her account. After recounting her experience on how the incident occurred via her post on social media, Shola Akinwale, a time-tested Information Technology personality and former bank employee, took interest in the case and launched a private investigation into what might her transpired leading to an unauthorized transfer.
After his private investigation, Shola found out that the said amount could not have left Chiamaka’s account without authorization via a token which must have been sent to her mobile phone. He further stated that; her card pin, expiry date and other information on it might have been compromised. Maybe her phone must have been stolen for the person who carried out the fraud to have successfully transferred the money into another account. “The theft was a coordinated one I must tell you. She must have revealed her information to a close ally who carried out the transaction, or she is not saying the truth about what happened to either her ATM card or her mobile phone. She might have revealed some information to those close to her who carried out such theft. On the other hand, her card might have been compromised maybe she had fallen victim to some fraudulent POS operator who has cloned her card. From my investigation, I gathered that it’s not her first time using such means to transfer money using an e-token. No one can authorize the transfer without her access to the mobile phone where the token was or One Time Password OTP must have been inserted to complete the transaction. The funny aspect is that the money was transferred three times into a different account. It means the e-token was generated three times. So something is wrong somewhere.
According to section 3,4,6, Cardholders users of CBN guidelines on the operation of electronic payment channels in Nigeria issued in June 2020A card holder/ user shall;
Protect the Payment card, mobile device and pin with due care.
Notify the issuer immediately the pin is compromised.
iii. notify the issuer immediately about stolen, damaged, lost or destroyed cards and mobile phones.
Section 126.96.36.199 stated further that; The cardholder shall be held liable for fraud committed with his card arising from the misuse of his pin or debit card.”
Zenith Bank is not at fault. The fault is coming from Chiamaka who was careless with her information or her phone. It’s nearly possible for such a huge amount to move without authorization from the owner of the account. So Chiamaka should think deeply and get anyone who might be a suspect around her. She did not guard her information jealously”
On the other hand, sympathizers on social media have also called on Zenith bank to make their investigation and reveal what really happened in the said fraud. Zenith bank quickly swung into action by calling for an in-house investigation. According to an internal memo on the investigation carried out by the bank, it was recorded that; Chiamaka authorized the transfer. She authorized a transfer of 3,715,000, 222,900 and 102,000 via an e-token assigned with serial numbers to the transfers to various accounts in different banks. From investigation, it was gathered that she used the e-token to change the authentication mode from token to Mobile pin on the 21st of November 2021. The Information was also used to enrol a Zenith Bank Mobile Banking app on the 6th of December 2021 on an iPhone 11 pro-Max at exactly 11:25.06 pm. It was gathered that she had authorized many transactions with the E-token and four-digit pin using the mobile app severally and she never complained of any lagging from the bank before the said disputed transaction was carried out. “The transaction was consummated by the device iPhone 11 pro-Max on the 9th of January 2023. If you claim the transaction was not authorized by you is true. It means someone had unrestricted access to your device.’ It was further gathered that when she reported the incident, the e-token was disabled and the fraudulent transfer was escalated to the beneficiary bank which is UBA and Access Bank. UBA claimed the beneficiary account from their end had a good profile and does not depict fraud while Access Bank was able to salvage 800 thousand from the beneficiary account as they await a court order to be able to repatriate the salvaged funds back to Chiamaka’s account.
It was also stated in the investigation that; Chiamaka did not immediately block the account on noticing the fraudulent transfer by using the emergency *966*911#code to block other unauthorized transfers. She also did not call the open 24 hours daily call centre for help. If she had done that, they would have taken swift action by reversing the transaction but she didn’t reach out to the bank for such assistance.