Edo fraudsters open Fair Money helpline on Facebook, defraud customers millions
….they withdrew over N3m from my account and use it to borrow N1.6m – victim claims
…..POS operator lied about the amount, arrested fraudster cries
Four suspects suspected of online banking fraud have been arrested in Auchi, Etsako West local government in Edo State.
Following a tip-off, Mohammed Ismaili, Godwin Uchenna, Aliu Abdulganiyu and Enafo Segiru were arrested on Friday, 10 March 2023.
The police said they belong to an alleged syndicate specialising in defrauding online bank customers.
According to the information gathered, the group are hackers who targeted a company’s account belonging to Fair Money.
The Standard Gazette gathered that the group opened Facebook Page and other internet source helplines for customers belonging to specific banks.
A POS operator who uses Fair Money had used the app to transfer N300,000 to a customer. However, the transfer was undelivered, even though the money left her account.
The local businesswoman searched and found a contact belonging to Fair Money and reached out for a possible solution.
The victim, who is not named for security reasons, said, “I operate a POS business in Benin city. I use Fair Money in my business. I sent N300,000 to my customer, and the money did not enter the person’s account; it left mine and was deducted from my bank account.
“I was advised to contact Fair money company to rectify the fault. I went on the internet to get their phone number which I called, and someone picked up the call and introduced himself as the customer care of fair money company.
“I explained the problem, and I was advised to send them the One Time Password ( OTP) code of my online transaction and other details, which I did, but unknown to me that they were fraudsters.”
Barely 2 minutes after her details had been given out, the customer received multiple alerts of millions of Naira leaving her account.
She told The Standard Gazette that the fraudsters also used her account to borrow one million six hundred thousand (N1.6m).
“Two minutes after I sent them the details, I started receiving bank debit alerts on my phone. Over three million naira were already debited in less than 10 minutes. The worst of the matter is that the suspects then used my bank account to borrow money. I am now indebted to the tune of N1.6m, putting my business account in deficit”, she narrated.
Adding, “I then quickly reported the matter to the police, who then swung into action. I must commend the police for the promptness and the arrest of the four suspects”.
The Anti-Kidnapping and Cybercrime Unit launched an extensive investigation following the complaint by the Benin POS operator, leading to the arrest of the four suspects in Auchi.
One of the suspects, Godwin Uchenna, told the Standard Gazette correspondent that the POS operation had inflated the money they withdrew from her account.
Uchenna said, “I have been in this business for one year now. My friend who is now in Ghana lured me into the deal. This is the fourth time I am doing it. But the money we took from the account is not up to the three million naira the woman mentioned. I regret it anyway”.
Edo state Police Public Relations officer SP Chidi Nwabuzor who confirmed the incident said the police would ensure that any person or group of persons who are into online financial fraud are arrested and made to face justice.
© Standard Gazzette