As most banks have upped their game in terms of securing the account of their customers, fraudsters rely mostly on information that is often provided unknowingly by the customers to perpetrate their evil deeds.
Data released by the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the custodian of banking sector data, showed that 68 per cent of fraud perpetuated in the third quarter of last year was through social engineering.
Social engineering is when fraudsters trick individuals to reveal personal data that could be used to access their bank accounts. Fraudsters had taken advantage of the several government social intervention funds aimed at relieving the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians to rob them of their funds.
Protect Your Sensitive Data
Last year, fraudsters had sent messages via WhatsApp and text messages telling people to fill a form to be a recipient of some of the fund being shared. Also, the federal government’s N-Power website had been cloned, as individuals filled out sensitive information on phoney websites.
All these, alongside the phishing emails and text messages had culminated in increased loss to fraud last year. According to data from NIBSS, attempted fraud value rose by 44 per cent in the third quarter of 2020 compared to Q3 2019, while actual loss value for Q3 2020 rose by 500 per cent compared to Q3 2019.
Don’t Trust Everyone
So, there is need to watch out for scam emails and ensure that sensitive information such as bank verification number (BVN), date of birth, account password and personal identification number (PIN), etc. are not entered on unsecured websites. There have also been instances where customers have entrusted their funds to people for deposit.
A student in Iyana-Ipaja area of Lagos had lost his school fees after he entrusted the money to someone in the banking hall posing to be a staff. Banks have continued to educate customers ensuing that they only make deposits over the counter to designated staff.
Keep Receipt Of Your Lodgements
Having confirmed the deposit details to ensure that funds are not paid into a wrong account, customers should ensure that they obtain evidence of deposit upon cash lodgement in in the bank. Some customers are in the habit of trashing the receipts, it is a document to be kept, as it proves evidence of payment.
Also, family members need to promptly notify the bank in event of the demise of a customer. Fraudsters do not only target the account of customers who are alive, they also seek to defraud the dead.
Upon the death of a bank customer; the family of the deceased should notify the bank to enable the immediate freezing of the deceased customer’s account. This is pivotal to preventing unauthorised persons from having access to the funds, pending when the funds will be properly discharged by administrators.
This will reduce fraudulent activities on deceased customers’ accounts and ensure funds are discharged according to stipulated laws.