ACTIVITIES of fraudsters on banks’ online platform have assumed an alarming rate, as unsuspecting members of the banking public are being fleeced of their hard-earned funds, thereby threatening the cashless policy introduced last year to encourage electronic payment system.
Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune showed that the worst hit banks were those that recently migrated to another platform and others experiencing hiccups in their online platforms.
The electronic fraudsters hack into banks’ platform and send mails to all the bank’s customers soliciting them to update their account, in view of a new security enhancement.
The fraudsters will post an online verification form where the customers are made to disclose all necessary information, including Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and other details.
One of the mails being sent out by the fraudsters, with an alleged bank’s logo and other details read: “Your …. Bank account was recently updated with a new security enhancement. For your security, we have temporary (sic) suspended your account. Please complete your online verification online banking log on.”
An e-fraud security expert, Lawal Jimoh, told the Nigerian Tribune that many bank customers had fallen victim to the fraudsters, stating that the banks and regulators should stem the rising tide.
He said apart from the banks protecting their network to prevent easy hacking, they should also enlighten their customers on the antics of the fraudsters.
“The banks should be one step ahead the hackers. They should ensure the customers are regularly enlightened on the activities of fraudsters,” he said.
One of the customers of a first generation bank, who identified himself as Victor Okwu, told the Nigerian Tribune that he fell victim but the bank intervened when he complained.
According to him, he had received SMS message from his bank a day before that the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) services would not be available for the weekend, because it was carrying out system upgrade, but later received an email that as a result of the upgrade, he should fill an online verification form which he did.
He said it was the intervention of his colleague, who is familiar with the fraudsters’ antics, that advised him to approach the nearby branch of the bank for inquiry, noting that to his dismay, there was no such instruction and his account had to be blocked.
Only recently, chairman, Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), Emmanuel Obaigbena, confirmed that the activities of e-fraudsters were on the increase.
Meanwhile, the apex bank has assured that it would tackle head-on the e-frauds in banks, to ensure success of the cashless policy.
According to the CBN Deputy Governor in charge of Operations, Mr Tunde Lemo, CBN was working with NeFF to develop a template that would assist banks to assemble e-fraud data for storage and accessibility within the sector.