BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja
Nigeria has lost over N2.196 billion, being 50.28 per cent actual loss value, in attempted fraud value to the nefarious activities of cyber/financial fraudsters in 2016 alone.
A report by the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NEFF) said the N2, 19,509,038.78 billion was the actual loss in money value of the reported 19,531 fraud cases that took place in the year.
The money lost in 2016 is however higher than the N2.25 billion recorded in the previous year.
The report added that there was attempted fraud value of N4,368,437,371.64, which is a bit lower than the N4,374,512,776.64 reported in 2015.
In the report tagged ‘A Changing Payment System: The Security Challenge’, NEFF stated that fraud perpetrated through the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) recorded the highest volume of fraud followed by mobile.
ATM recorded 9,522 fraud volumes, with N464.514 million financial loss; while Mobile had 3,832 million and N235.170 million actual loss value.
The report was unveiled yesterday in a joint stakeholders workshop on cybercrime, with the theme, “Tackling Enforcement Challenges Under The Cybercrime Act”.
The rate of financial fraud through Web stood at 2,677, with N83.776 million, followed by Point Of Sale (POS) transaction with 1,658 volume, amounting to N243.32 million of money lost in the same period under review.
Internet banking recorded 698 volumes, translating to 320.665 million of actual loss, which is higher than the 520 volumes of fraud volume and N132.3 million lost to fraud through eCommerce transactions, against the N511.072 million of actual loss in 325 fraud volumes by Across Counter fraud cases.
Transactions categorized under “Others” had 284 volumes of fraud cases, resulting in financial loss of N190.97 million.
Transactions through Kiosk recorded the lowest, with 3 volume with actual loss value of N10.198 million, compared to the 12 fraud volume recorded by Cheque amounting to N4.56 million in money terms.
On why ATM and Mobile recorded the highest figure of financial theft, NEFF said, “This is analogous to several emerging product and services riding on these channels which fraudsters are taking advantage of, especially mobile channel. The third most used channel to perpetrate fraud is Web”.
The report said a total number of 1,020 unique individuals were beneficiaries of fraudulent transactions consummated through the various channels, including across the counter, ATM, Internet Banking, Mobile, Web, eCommerce.
NEFF expressed frustration over it efforts at fighting the menace, saying despite several awareness and tips about BVN watchlist, some institutions still refuse to send BVN’s of their customers who have been involved in fraudulent acts for watchlist, “thereby leaving these fraudsters free in our ecosystem and subsequently perpetrating more fraud”.
It added that 217, representing 21 per cent of the figure, were sent to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System for watch-listing.
In a keynote remarks at a workshop shortly before unveiling the report at an event which took place at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said the theme of the report settles well with new developments in the world today, as challenges in securing the nation’s payment systems keep mounting.
Represented by CBN’s deputy governor, Operations, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, Emefiele said, “We are nevertheless desirous that the Cybercrime Act is effectively enforced, to serve as a deterrent and constant reminder to those who may wish to engage in illicit activities targeting our financial technology infrastructures.”
Emefiele added that given the reality that the law has recorded some progress, it was inescapable that firm and appropriate legal frameworks must be put in place, supported with sound and effective law enforcement and enhanced technical and institutional capabilities to effectively protect these networks and secure the systems and infrastructure from all forms of cybercrimes.
The workshop was organised to conduct a holistic review of the implementation of 2015 Cybercrime act.