Centenary Bank Fraud Scam Exposed: Askaris, Staff Connive To Steal Customers’ Money From ATM

Centenary Bank Fraud Scam Exposed: Askaris, Staff Connive To Steal Customers’ Money From ATM

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By Andrew Irumba

There is a financial scam being perpetrated at the Catholic Church owned Centenary Bank, in  which guards (Askaris) allegedly connive with  some staff to steal customers’ deposits from Automatic Teller Machines (ATM).

According to our Spy, the scam involves swapping ATM cards, especially for clients who request for help on how to use the ATMs.

The case of theft that was filed by the Complainants

This criminal and shameful vice was unearthed by a client recently, whose father lost over Shs8,000,000 in the scam and despite Centenary Bank acknowledging the fraud, they have since refused to refund the money or apprehend the perpetrators, yet CCTV cameras filmed the thief withdrawing money after swapping ATM cards with an unsuspecting client.

Here below is a complaint from the affected client ( names withheld on request);
“I’m complaining about the bad customer care at Centenary Bank . My complaint is as follows;
As we were traveling from Mbarara, we stopped at Centenary cooperate Branch , Mbarara.

Response from Centenary Bank about the alleged Fraud

I was with my Father, Mr Tumuhimbise Timothy , an old man 76 years of age, we stopped so that we could withdraw money for fuel and other commodities.

The security man told us that the ATM wasn’t working. We waited for a short time and decided to use the Bank. As we had reached at the entrance of the Bank, the Askari at the Main entrance told us that the ATM is now working.

So we went back to use the ATM since it was very convenient . I wanted to enter with my Father to help him with the process. But the Askari told me that according to procedure , the ATM only allows one person in, so as always, I told the Askari to help my Father and I stepped back.

 As my Dad had entered , he found another man in the ATM, so my Father asked 4 help from the man inside the ATM machine.
 The man offered help. After a short time, my Dad came out and we moved….My Dad withdrew Shs500,000, on 25th October 2019, Friday at around 11:00Am.

We drove off and proceeded to Kampala.On 26th Saturday October 2019 we wanted to make another transaction but the card was not the Right one; we called the Bank and they blocked the A.T.M.

On Tuesday, we travelled to Mbarara, and headed to the Bank. We met the manager and narrated everything to her.

Wee requested that the security Guard should be investigated on how he stopped me from entering yet he was a ware of a Guy who was inside . To us, this looked like the Askari was assisting the mission

The Manager gave us a print out of the transactions.

Y1-Dad withdrew 500,0002-The Alleged card swapper later took off 1,500,000. The limit for a day was reached.

3-The footage of the bank shows the same Guy coming again later after midnight to withdraw Shs2,000,000.

4-The other money was lost on swaps at fuel stations and supermarkets via the POS terminal. Total was 3.5million on ATM and 3.5 million through the POS machine equating to 8,000,000 lost .

The footage showed how the thief successfully twisted my Dads ATM as he was focusing on the 500k he had wanted to withdraw, then later shows again the thief accessing the ATM two times. The Manager understood , and gave us this response;
“We shall refund the money because the issue came from a security Guard who didn’t do his work .”We got some relief.
We even reported the case to police and the reference number is attached below ;

From October -November-December -Jan, we have not gotten any money yet , and no response was made to us. My Father has used Centenary Bank for a very long time, so we are disappointed  how they can treat such Royal clients.

This is not good , just communicate to people and tell them what’s going on
A friend advised me to go to Head office on 28th January 2020, and look for the Security Department.

The Response from a man who is from the security department was; 
“We investigated the case and the issue is between you and the Bank. I asked him, then why didn’t you inform me the person who was complaining and my Dad who was affected?
He arrogantly said…”That’s what I have said and walked a way.” I don’t know his name , but I can identify the man once I see him

Question: How does the Bank contract a security company and then can’t control its activities…We as clients, are we supposed to be the ones tussling out with the security company or it should be the Bank ?

We are not happy; we would love Centenary Bank to contact us and we have a mutual understanding , we are very annoyed.
Please help us through this, so the next people don’t have to go through this.”

The complainants have since filed a case of theft against Centenary Bank vide file Number SD REF 65/05/11/2019 of Mbarara Police Station.

Centenary Bank Response:
In response to the complaint, Centenary Bank wrote the following public notice:Centenary Bank is aware of the matter in relation to the alleged fraud involving a security guard at our Mbarara Corporate Branch ATM.

Investigations  to establish the facts surrounding the incident are ongoing, as we engage all stakeholders so as to get to the bottom of the matter.

Centenary Bank has a zero-tolerance policy to fraud and remains Committed to ensuring the safety of our Customers’ deposits at all times.

We urge customers to safeguard their Center Visa Cards and Credentials including the Customer Verification Value (3 digits at the back of the card) PIN, passwords and all information used to access their accounts so as to avoid unauthorised access by would-be fraudsters.”

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