Elderly Man Cries Foul After Equity Bank Fraudsters Sweep Clean His Account

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Equity Bank has once again been thrust into the limelight after an elderly man from Nakuru allegedly lost Ksh280,000 from his account to fraudsters through Equitel SIM card.

In a complaint letter to Westside Mall Branch Manager dated October 19, 2020 and forwarded to The Kenyan Herald editorial desk, the victim identified as Peter Kimani detailed how Equity bank-linked fraudsters swept clean his account, through Equitel line.

Kimani, while giving the details of what transpired, stated that it all stated on October 15, 2020 when fraudsters managed to steal his Equitel line and having sensed the danger, he immediately rushed to Westside Mall branch in Nakuru for assistance to block the fraudsters from doing any transaction.

“On Thursday 15th October 2020, fraudsters managed to steal my Equitel SIM card from me. As soon as I realized the theft, I rushed to your Westside Mall branch for assistance. All my life savings were in Equity bank, and I knew that it was a rush against time before the fraudsters started siphoning the money off,” reads part of Kimani’s letter to the branch manager.

He has also accused the bank of negligence arguing that when he reported the case, the concerned individuals did little to block the fraudsters.

Equity Bank fraud.
Equity Bank. Image/Courtesy

The victim stated that after hours of waiting, he was directed to a bank official identified as Joseph who upon checking noticed that the fraudsters had already transferred Ksh140,000 to an M-Pesa account and were in the processing of transferring the remaining money.

Kimani then asked for the account to be blocked and Joseph, the bank official who was attending to him does exactly that and assures him that no more money would be stolen.

To Kimani’s shock, the bank official informed him shortly after that the fraudsters had transferred another Ksh140,000 from his second account which he was told had been blocked and no transaction was going to be authorized.

“I approached one of your officers and informed him of my predicament, stating the urgency of the matter. I asked the officer to block any transaction from being carried out from my account. Sadly, the officer asked me to sit and wait my turn, completely ignoring the fact that my plea was time-sensitive. I kept standing up and making pleas for help, but this fell on deaf ears. They kept telling me to wait.  Eventually, the first officer I had spoken to handed me to another officer, Joseph, who took me through the same routine of having to wait my turn.”

“When Joseph eventually started handling my case, he noticed that the fraudsters were in the process of transferring money from my account to an M-Pesa account. They had already transferred KES 140,000. Joseph said he had blocked the account, and that no more money would be stolen. Shortly after, he informed me that another KES 140,000 had been transferred from my account to another Equity account. He said this would be easy to recover, since he would block the second Equity account. According to Joseph, the second account was active, and had more money than the KES 140,000 that the fraudsters had transferred into it. Joseph informed me that he had blocked the second Equity account. To my shock, the fraudsters were still able to transfer KES 105,000 from the second Equity account, yet it was supposed to have been blocked.”

This image represents the CEO of Equity Bank
Kenyan Herald archives. CEO James Mwangi, Equity Bank

Kimani, who is a retiree with no source of income, has questioned Equity bank’s commitment to the protection of its customers’ funds accusing the bank of aiding the fraudsters in stealing his lifetime savings.

After registering an official complaint, Kimani say that the bank only refunded him Ksh35,000.

“I have now received KES 35,000 refund, ostensibly being a part of the KES 140,000 that had been transferred from my account to the other Equity account. This account is being used by fraudsters. Why didn’t you transfer the entire amount (KES 140,000) back into my account?”

The victim now wants the bank to refund him his entire money lost and investigate the official who attended to his case.

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