Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
RECENTLY I received a call from someone who claimed to be a worker at a named commercial bank saying I should go to the bank and confirm my account balance with them.
Like anybody who wishes to have a fat bank account and have a good relationship with a bank manager, including every teller, I felt so lucky to be recognised as one of the financial magnates in the hood.
I am not one to tempt fate, however, the chance before me to confirm with the banker the amount of cash in my account came like a thief in broad daylight.
Not only was I going to show the banker how fat my bank account was, but also my credit worthiness, just in case I needed to bless every woman in the hood on a dry day.
You see, to be a tycoon in the hood means a lot, everyone knows you, and you can be elected as a ward chairman unopposed and instantly assume the title asogoleli [leader].
When you insult patrons at a bar, they apologise to you instead of getting offended. Each time you sneeze, those who drink beer on your generosity think that you want to send them to go and buy more beer.
“Mwati? They would say, meaning, “What did you say?”
I’m not sure if I should be sharing this story of my hefty bank account in front of Zambia Revenue Authority, but the bank employee offered me an excellent opportunity to go and confirm my balance.
Who wouldn’t be happy to receive a call from the bank trying to confirm one’s account balance, especially these days when the only calls people in the hood receive are those from shylocks demanding their money?
Of course, a money-lender in the hood does not owe anyone, he only reaps from people and assumes power over them.
A shylock does not call you to go and check your money with him, but only does so when he wants you to go and confirm how much you owe him.
Why do money-lenders in the hood seem to have all the money while others yearn to have a go at the biggest jackpot? Such is life.
But on that day, Thursday, I felt so lucky I was not dealing with a shylock’s money, that’s what got me excited.
I knew that such calls from the bank have the markings of a big party. Why not paint the entire hood red if the bank manager says your account is too fat to be idle?
However, only one question came to my mind as I prepared to go to the bank: why would I need to confirm my bank account with a bank I did not have an account with?
“But I do not have an account with your bank, why should I come to confirm my account balance with you,” I asked the supposed banker.
“All the same, just come so that we can confirm,” he assured me.
Did I go there? No, I did not go on advice from our security personnel at Zambia Daily Mail. I was advised to go with them if I still needed to go and confirm the purported balance in the account.
If you are suspicious about the banker’s request for me to go and confirm my balance in the account, I understand. It is a normal reaction especially that the bank he said I should go to had been closed a year ago and I was not sure if it had been reopened.
It is also normal for anyone to ask why scammers want to meddle in people’s bank accounts.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one the purported banker has called in the last few months to confirm the balance in the bank account.
My mother in-law told me she was also once called by a stranger to go and confirm her balance in the bank account at a named bank. Fortunately, someone advised her not to get into the trap, people can be crooked these days.
Be careful if someone calls you to go to a bank and confirm your bank balance with him, it could be a trap from scammers.