CIH Bank finds itself in hot water as a considerable number of its clients woke up on Tuesday to puzzling discrepancies in their account balances.
Incidents were reported by group of clients who noticed deductions from their accounts related to transactions they hadn’t done.
According to those affected, the deducted amounts ranged from a few hundred to several thousand dirhams. The bank had deducted additional amounts from individuals who had conducted transactions just the previous weekend.
Moroccans flooded social media in response to the incident, with affected customers sharing screenshots of their bank accounts and others creating memes and humorous videos about the bank.
A customer wrote on Facebook “ I lost MAD 580.000, but I lodged a complaint at the bank today.”
Another customer shared, “I found MAD 2000 deduced from my account, but it was returned after I complained to the bank.”
Customers who withdrew from ATMs, made direct purchases with their bank cards, engaged in commercial transactions, or conducted online money transfers on November 11, were astonished to find double the expected sum deducted from their accounts.
Frustrated clients promptly lodged complaints at CIH branches across Moroccan cities.
While this isn’t the first time such confusion has arisen in CIH, the scale of affected individuals and the unsatisfactory response from the bank’s management this time around has raised frustrations.
The bank responded with the following concise statement: “following a delay in processing a portion of banking operations, some clients experienced a variance in their balances. We would like to inform our valued clients that corrections have been made, and full adjustments to balances will be completed today after the processing is concluded. We apologize for this exceptional event and appreciate your trust in CIH Bank.”
A victim of the incident reported that his bank account, which originally had MAD 971, now displayed a shocking balance of -2028.30 when he woke up.
While another one jokingly wrote “the CIH bank played some tricks on us this morning. Whoever withdrew money this weekend got a surprise with double deductions.”
Earlier this year, CIH faced a significant cybersecurity breach targeting its customers’ accounts. In March, following the incident, four suspects were apprehended by the National Brigade of Judicial Police (BNPJ) and subsequently presented to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
They were accused of various offenses, including computer hacking, unauthorized access to the data processing system, compromising the confidentiality and security of banking data, and falsification of computer programs for embezzlement.
The hackers diverted a total of 3 million dirhams in multiple operations, employing a common tactic of sending messages to victims, urging them to update their data. The victims, realizing unauthorized transactions and discrepancies in their bank history, reported the incidents to the bank, prompting CIH to seek legal action.
The bank also issued warnings to its clients, urging caution against messages prompting data updates and emphasizing the use of official channels for any personal information transactions. The investigation continues, with the possibility of further arrests.
In August, CIH faced another hacking incident, with numerous customers reporting unauthorized transactions to an international tech company.
CIH Bank then clarified that the breach was not within its banking system but resulted from credit card data fraud through deceptive websites impacting various banks globally. The bank assured affected customers of full reimbursement for the stolen amounts and advised them to report complaints via the banking app or a dedicated hotline.