In response to escalating financial crimes linked to the telecommunications sector, Nigerian commercial banks are ramping up measures to counter online scams such as identity theft and others targeting their customers.
Reports indicate that between 2019 and 2023, Nigerians suffered losses amounting to around N13 billion due to financial fraud associated with the telecommunications industry.
NCC raises concerns about fraudsters and Identity Theft scammers exploiting platform vulnerabilities
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) highlighted the prevalence of fraudsters exploiting platform vulnerabilities to defraud individuals of their hard-earned money.
Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, emphasized that electronic fraud encompasses various malicious activities such as phishing, identity theft, hacking, and unauthorized access to personal and financial information, ultimately undermining trust in digital platforms and hindering economic growth.
Several prominent banks, including United Bank of Africa, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, and First Bank, have issued alerts to their customers to be cautious and vigilant against fraudulent attacks.
These banks have cautioned customers not to share sensitive banking and card details, advised them to verify social media accounts, and urged them to update their personal information at bank branches or ATMs.
While a 2020 FBI report ranked Nigeria as the 16th most affected country by cybercrime, the proliferation of scammers within the nation is raising concerns.
Factors contributing to this rise include erosion of societal values, driven by the rapid wealth accumulation of politicians from public resources, and socio-economic challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
To combat fraudulent activities, banks are recommended to establish robust internal control systems and cybersecurity measures to protect both their interests and customer trust.