On November 12, Dare Adebisi, a Lagos State resident, was on his way to work when his phone got stolen.
Adebisi told FIJ that he subsequently had the stolen phone line blocked in order to prevent the thief from using it to perpetrate fraud.
The move later proved to be too late as the thief did exactly what Adebisi had feared he could do with the phone.
“When I noticed that my phone had been stolen, I quickly visited a nearby ATM and emptied all the cash I had in all my Access and GTBank accounts,” Adebisi said.
“I also was able to have a restriction placed on my UBA account immediately.
“However, because it was a weekend and banks did not open, I used my wife’s phone to call both Access and GTBank’s customer care lines endlessly so that they could also help me place restrictions on my accounts with them, but they would not pick my calls.”
Adebisi said he was later able to have the stolen phone number blocked on the same day.
“After blocking the stolen phone line, I bought a new phone line in the evening of the same day,” Adebisi said.
“I tried calling Access Bank again that same evening, but I still was not able to get through to them. I then received a shocker when I checked my email and saw a series of emails from the same bank showing that I had requested a loan of N293,000 from them.
“Also, through the emails, I saw that the thief or fraudster had withdrawn a huge chunk of the N293,000 from my account the moment the credit came in.”
Adebisi said he was finally able to get Access Bank to place a restriction on his account on Sunday morning.
“On Monday, November 14, I went to the High Court in Ikeja to obtain an affidavit and also visited the MTN office to retrieve the stolen line,” Adebisi said.
“I then visited the police station in Gbagada the following day to lodge a complaint on the incident.
“From there, I visited the Access Bank branch in Idimu so that the restriction I had earlier placed on my account could be lifted.
“When I told them what happened and presented the affidavit and police report to them, they said the N293,000 loan was obtained through the use of my stolen line.
“They also said the request was made using the bank’s USSD code.”
Adebisi said the branch officials also insisted that he repay the loan with interest on or before February 10, 2023.
“Access Bank is insisting that I pay back N351,600 by February 10, 2023. They refused to listen to what I had to say. How am I supposed to repay a loan I did not take or spend? I am confused,” he said.
“This would not even have happened if the bank’s customer care officers had picked my call on time.”
When FIJ contacted Access Bank via email for comments on the matter on Thursday, Adeola Folahan, one of the bank’s officials at its contact centre said the matter was receiving attention.
“I acknowledge the receipt of your transaction complaint. Please be informed that your complaint is currently receiving attention. Kindly note that feedback will be communicated once resolved. I am sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you,” Folahan wrote.
On Saturday, 48 hours after Folahan made the promise, Adebisi confirmed to FIJ that none of the bank’s officials had reached out to him on a resolution.