Equity bank on the spot over fraudulent “emptying” of customers’ accounts

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In a scandal involving a financial institution, a series of customers have come out to accuse Equity Bank Uganda of fraudulently authorizing withdrawals from their accounts without their authorization.

According to one Rose Ahebwa, she opened up an account with the bank in the second week of December, 2022 and deposited shs47 million.

She says that a few days later, the customer service of the bank called to advise her to subscribe to a number of products including mobile banking but she rejected before the call hang up.

“A few hours later, I discovered via the teller where I had gone to make a transaction that my  account had a balance of only shs27,000,” Ahebwa says.

Ahebwa says that she went to report the matter to the bank manager who later told her the matter would be resolved internally within the bank.

She narrates that whereas she was asked not to report the matter to police, she went again the advice and did so and reported the matter to Central Police Station in Kampala on December, 19, 2022  vide Case Ref: SD 44/19/12/2022.

Ahebwa however says she has failed to get assistance from the bank after being tossed around.

Another bank client,  Maxwell Lawrence Muyonjo has also admitted to having fallen victim to the fraud when he was robbed of shs30.6 million through mobile banking on December, 16.

“I lost my mobile phone in the night and the next day on December,17,  someone accessed my mobile banking by managing to reset my mobile banking PIN and withdrawing or transferring up to shs30.6 million  out of the account and to top it off, applying for a shs500,00 instant loan. I reported the issue to Equity bank and also logged a case with Central Police Station,” Muyonjo narrates.

He says that on January, 19, 2023, he received response from Equity Bank detailing how the fraud happened but says he was not convinced by the explanation.

“The feedback shared states that the thieves reset my mobile banking PIN and received OTP since they had my sim card. However, they completed the second level of authentication using my VISA Card. But the VISA Card was in my possession and still is till to date. They cannot explain how they obtained my card details,” he says.

However, in a statement Equity Bank said investigations into the circumstances under which these incidents happened are still ongoing.

“Our attention has been drawn to an issue circulating on social media . We wish to confirm the incident has been given due attention and is being handled with the seriousness it dserves,” the bank said in a statement.

Equity however said they cannot divulge further information in regards the incident that is still being investigated.

“We are also in close contact with the customer to ensure the matter is brought to a closure.”

The bank however urged customers to remain alert by avoiding sharing details of the personal identification numbers(PIN) and reporting any suspicious activity on their accounts.

Contact for a comment, Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesgiyre said victims should report the matter to the Criminal Investigations Directorate for investigations.

 

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