This is a bit embarrassing for me to even talk about because I'm usually the kind of person to advise people on how best to keep themselves from getting scammed online but today I found myself falling prey to one of the oldest tricks in the book, simply because I was too desperate and didn't notice the very obvious red flags.
All these started last Thursday when I tried to withdraw some money from my account using a POS machine but the payment was declined. The payment was declined but I realized that I was still debited, 5100 (around $6) was removed from my account, so the POS attendant told me the money will be reversed to my account which is true.
I had to wait for 24 hours for the money to be reversed but it didn't, so I laid a complaint with the bank by writing them an email but they didn't reply. My friend told me it's because of the weekend and I should wait till Monday before I can expect a reply. Today being Monday, I emailed them again but I didn't get any response, that was when I became desperate to get my money back and made a foolish mistake.
I went to the Twitter account of the bank and saw other people complaining about failed transactions and asking for a reversal. I noticed one particular comment had a reply by what I thought was the bank's real account. The reply simply said to message a WhatsApp number and drop complaints about transaction problems. The screenshot below is the comment of the person complaining and the reply he got.
I was happy that I got a number I can use to reach them, so I ran over to Whatsapp and messaged that number. I got back an automatic reply which made the whole thing look real, and then I was given a form to fill out. In the form, there was a part about web pay ID which is something I haven't heard about before but they gave instructions on how to get the pay ID, so I went over to my bank app and got the pay ID, and added it to the form.
Immediately after submitting the form, I got a debit alert and the whole money in my account was wiped out. Luckily for me, the money wasn't that much, it was roughly around N15,000 ($20). Immediately I saw the debit alert, I still refused to believe what happened and I was processing the whole thing for over an hour before it finally dawned on me: I have been scammed!
I tried reporting the transaction but I knew it was a futile effort because there's nothing the bank can do, that's even if they will reply to my email. I went back to investigate the Twitter account that dropped the WhatsApp number and I realized it was different from the real Twitter account of the bank. The first picture below is the real account of the bank while the second one is the scammer's account.
I went back to the bank app and checked the place where I got the web pay ID from and there was a warning sign there that says "kuda (the name of the bank) will never ask you for your pay ID". How the hell did I not see that? All the signs were there that I was about to get scammed but I didn't see them, all because I was desperate to get back the money that the bank refused to reverse.
So, while trying to get back $6, I ended up losing $20. I'm not even angry about losing the money, what makes me angry is the way I lost the money, it's a very cheap trick and I can't believe I fell for it. I have always heard stories of other people getting scammed and I wondered how they fell for some of those tricks, but now it has happened to me and I can't even believe it.
Anyway, I have moved on from the whole thing, I'm just glad it wasn't a large sum of money. I'm going to delete my account with that bank and look for an alternative, I hate dealing with a business or company that has bad customer service, everyone is complaining that they aren't getting any replies to their emails. Today was a bitter experience and I have definitely learned my lesson. Y'all should be careful out there.
Thanks for reading 💖💖💖
Monday November 21, 2022