Monday, 26 October 2009


A FEW weeks ago, on a weekend, a friend had an emergency and needed to go to an ATM to make a withdrawal. When he got to the ATM, at a branch of Intercontinental Bank in Aguda, he noticed that there were two men already there.
He took a place in the queue, waited a short while and admitted that he was a little surprised when both men left at the same time.
But he didn’t think much of it because he knew that he always kept his card safe. So, he took his turn on the machine, cashed a few thousands and left.
Two days later he went to another ATM this time in Surulere and got told that his account was empty.
He put two and two together and realised that those two men he saw at the ATM two days earlier must have stolen his money.
I asked him what he was going to do about it and he was very laid back about it all.. He said he would send a letter to his bank when he had the time informing them about the incident.
Perhaps he behaved this way because he felt there was nothing to be gained by reporting the matter or maybe he had heard of or read about cases like a Akeem Awe, a businessman and a customer of Zenith Bank, who claims to have lost all his savings to ATM fraudsters in less than half an hour.
His story is that on Saturday, April 25, he got an alert on his phone that a transaction of N490, 000.00 was made and since he hadn’t withdrawn any money, he called his account officer to let him know.
Soon after speaking with the said account officer a new text came in that another N490, 000.00 had been withdrawn.
He called the account officer again and told him about this new development. The account officer asked if he had misplaced his ATM card. He hadn’t.
The account officer assured him that he would notify Interswitch, the ATM service provider, so that the card could be blocked.
But some 10 minutes later, another text came in that N80, 000.00 had been withdrawn. Akeem Awe lost N1, 060,000.00 that day.
Although the bank acknowledged the case after when he wrote through his lawyer, several months have passed and nothing has been done.

IT has been said that the reason that criminals target ATMs is simply because if the magnetic stripe data and pin is available, it is easy money for the criminal to get the cash out of the ATM.
And since our banks choose the cheapest ATM machines for installation and these have no security measures whatsoever it makes their jobs all the more easier.
Here are some of the top ATM/debit card fraud trends:

Skimming — Criminals go to a bank and install a PIN pad overlay and card reader. When a transaction goes through, and the customer doesn’t realize that their ATM card or debit card has been compromised. (I think this is what happened to my friend)
Ghost ATMs — The entire ATM card reader is blocked off and customers can’t perform a transaction. When the customer inserts or swipes their card, then enters their PIN, the fake ATM says it can’t complete the transaction. (This was tried on my husband but wasn’t successful)
SMS/Email attacks — Criminals send a text or email asking you for your account number and pin. Where the criminals are able to get the information from the customer, they then clone the
ATM or debit card and use it to withdraw cash. (I once received an email informing me that someone was withdrawing money from my account and that I should go to some website to change my pin immediately!)
Experts say that to prevent ATM Fraud we should check carefully the machine you are using for any strange looking add-ons but do not try to remove any devices you find as they are valuable to the criminals and they will use force to retrieve them from you if need be. If you think anything is suspicious then report it to the bank or the shop the cash point is outside of or to the police.
We should also cover our hands as we enter our pin number while checking that no one is looking over your shoulder. But some have decided that the safest thing to do is simply to refuse to collect the ATM card in the first place, abi!

Of vases and harmattan

(Strictly for the young)
IF there is one thing I took away from my consultation with a stylist today, it is that I am a ‘vase’. And no, that does not refer to something you put flowers in! Since there is no way you could put flowers in me. Water maybe, but not flowers.
But then I digress.
The interesting about the world now, (and the Government and ASUU should take notes), is that more people are beginning to make their passion work for them... literally! When something you love can actually bring you money and become a career, then you have keyed into something special!
Imagine a little girl with a love for colours and a knack for combining a top with the perfect shoes and skirt? Imagine that girl with a passion and a flair for all things colourful, beautiful and fashionable. Now imagine that same girl making a name and building a career for herself, as a stylist!
To see what it would feel like to have someone else assess your body, wardrobe, and possibly life, I conceded to getting a ‘free’ (I am quarter Ijebu remember?) consultation from a stylist!
There I was at work when they came in, asking if I had more blue tones or yellow tones in my wardrobe.
Look, I didn’t even know my wardrobe had tones, okay! And apparently, human beings are autumn, winter, and something else.
What happened to harmattan and rainy season and August break?
It went on (pleasantly though) and I was measured, and tagged and bagged. (Not literally, but it rhymes)
Apparently, the ‘Vase’ body type is the type that... You know what? I. Do. Not. Remember. I blanked out after she told me that contrary to what I had always believed (imagined, deluded myself into thinking), I. Do. Not. Have. Long. Legs.

BEAUTY is a funny thing. Your whole life can change in one moment, and your whole world can be rocked with three words or less. Or more. But more less than more.
I mean, how many girls have had one of those days when they have dressed the best. In their own eyes.
And then they spend the day and night searching for compliments, but none come. And just when they cannot take it any longer, they ask someone how they look. And the person says, “Fine”.
Stab me while you are at it, you unable-to-string-more-than-one-word-together-friend!
But back to my consultation.
Orange or Fushia Pink
Err... whichever one I take out of Funke’s wardrobe first?
And on and on it went.
By the time they sat me down, put some shades of colour on me and took my picture though, I could see what they meant! While orange made me come alive, fuschia pink made me look dead.
And being a ‘vase’ is not so bad. I just have to learn to dress to suit my body shape, style, colour, and lifestyle.
In the end, it was a whole lot of fun. And it has got me thinking of seeing just how much of a difference dressing a certain way will make.
Results out in a couple of weeks!

What colour is harmattan by the way?

1 comment:

  1. this is a refreshing and down to earth article. well done tosyn. TY