First let me start by stating that there can not be a successful fraud today without you handing over your sensitive information like card details, and the subsequent OTP (One Time Password) sent to your phone or email to authenticate your transaction. Also no bank in Nigeria would call you up asking you for sensitive information or for you to complete a transaction.
The fraudster looks for new customers unfamiliar with banking procedures, old customers isolated from their current trends and tactics and customers who are afraid to loose their money they can give any information to keep it which leads to them loosing all of it. Their frequent target is your ATM card details.
Phone Call: The most common way the fraudster reaches the victim is via phone call, sounding very confident and claiming to be a bank worker from customer care to the level of manager. They use reverse psychology getting you to tell them whether you have an ATM card or not and if you don't have, they will tell you your card is ready at the bank and you should go pick it up. Most banks give instant cards today so they will wait for a few days and call back to confirm if you have collected your card so they can move to the next phase. The next phase comprises of a story to get you to give up your card details and subsequent OTP for transaction authorization. The common stories are:
- Your account is blocked or to be blocked and he is trying to reactivate it.
- Your ATM card is blocked and he would need your card details to reactivate it
- The information on your BVN does not match the one on your account.
- Someone has hacked your bank account and your card details are required to block your card.
In all of this compelling stories, the goal is to get you to give out your card details and the subsequent OTP that would be sent to your phone or email.
ATM Card Swap: Customers vulnerable to this method of fraud are seniors and those who are not familiar with how an ATM machine works so they ask for help. When you fall victim, the fraudster swaps your card for blank none functioning card which gets retracted by the machine and walks away with your card and PIN, or he swaps your card and claims your card and gives you a none functioning card after he aids you complete a transaction. After a successful swap, they tend to avoid using ATM machines for withdrawers with your card cos they are aware of the cameras at ATM machines, so they switch to POS machines covering their trails. If you need help at an ATM machine always ask the banks security operatives and request for identification.
SIM Card Swap: This is relatively new and on the rise. The cases reported so far involve fraudsters claiming to have a flat battery and needing your phone to get either their BVN or account numbers to complete transactions within a banking hall, they proceed to swap your SIM and load recharge card with all your money, recharge card I tell you and on your SIM. You might be thinking this is a loss but it's not, there is mobile money to turn that airtime to funds for mobile wallets.
How To Be Safe
- Always ensure that you complete all transactions involving your card and mobile device yourself.
- Do not disclose account details or card details to anyone via call, text or e-mail unless through appropriate banking channels like USSD, Mobile and the banking website.
- Always safe guard your PIN while at ATM machines and never ask for help unless from a security personnel who has an ID.
Fraud can always be avoided. Sensitisation is the key to curbing the menace. Stay Safe.