Welfare Recipient Claims Someone Withdrew Funds

Don’t Share Account Info, Bank Advises
10 Oct 2021 13:06
Welfare Recipient Claims Someone Withdrew Funds
Ananta Prasad in Labasa on October 5, 2021. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Westpac Fiji is advising its customers including social welfare recipients not to share their account information with others.

This comes after a welfare recipient in Labasa has come forward and claimed that someone withdrew his four months of allowance from his bank account without his knowledge and approval.

Ananta Prasad, 76, is one of the three recipients who have contacted this newspaper.

The social welfare recipient of Siberia, Labasa said he reported the matter at the Labasa Police Station after Westpac Fiji and Department of Social Welfare staff advised him to visit the station.

“The department told me they deposited the money, the bank said they are unaware who withdrew it because the card holder needs to take sole responsibility,” Mr Prasad said.

“I didn’t give my card to anyone. My question is who is keeping the money?”

He said the department should issue a letter or call to notify the cease of allowance or if someone has been given the authority to withdraw the money.

He said he visited the Police Station on September 22, Tuesday (October 5) and Wednesday (October 6).

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that Labasa Police received a report from Mr Prasad, and they are investigating.

An email was sent to the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation on September 28, seeking clarification and responses to such queries but there has been no response.

Westpac Fiji Bank in an email response said all customers and their privacy is important and they do not disclose customer information.

The Bank says they have a full-time customer advocate who looks after customer complaints and feedback.

“We advice all our customers not to share account information and/or their cards and pins with others.”

The bank encourages customers who have questions to visit a branch or call their customer care team on 132 032.

If customers have questions about their welfare payments, they should visit their nearest Social Welfare office or call the Ministry on 3315585 during business hours.

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu


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