For those who still think the only way fraudsters can have access to your bank account is through your ATM card, then you’re in for a shocker. These fraudsters are ever busy devising new ways through which unsuspecting victims fall prey to their antics. As the public strives to be more cautious, coming up with more and more ways in which they can prevent scammers from having access to their bank accounts, these criminally minded individuals are also not resting. They are forever ‘working tirelessly’ to outsmart technology and every preventive measure individuals have put in place to prevent them from stealing from them. And it must be said that they have been largely successful so far.
One of the new ways these criminals have devised to have access to people’s accounts and subsequently empty such accounts will shock you. It is called Sim transaction, or ‘wire-wire’, in street parlance. This has to do with your alert sim, that is the sim card with which you receive all your bank alerts. Once these criminals get hold of your alert sim, then you’re in big trouble. The first thing he will do is dial *425*100# and this immediately 4eveals to him the exact bank the owner of the sim uses. If, for instance, the owner of the sim uses Access bank, he will then dial *91*00# and this brings out the account balance of the owner. The next step is to reset the pin, which will require the account number of the owner of the sim and the date of birth. To know the account number, most people save their account number in their contacts and with the account number and BVN, he would have access to all needed details of the account owner. To know the account holder’s BVN, the fraudster simply dial with the owner’s sim, *565*0#. And once he has access to that, he will register the account, create a new PIN and with that, he begins to transfer monies until he has succeeded in emptying the owner’s account. Often times, they open what they call a ‘no traces account, inside which the money moved from the victim’s account would be transferred into. According to these fraudsters, its also called a ‘Hazard account.’ They open this ‘no traces account’ with someone else’s BVN, but using their own personal details. This way, there would be no trace of the account since its been opened with an existing BVN but with different personal data.
A particular fraudster who has been apprehended by the Police said that most times, even when there is no money in the victim’s account but it’s a salary account, he uses the account to procure loans. And the minute salaries are paid into the bank account, the bank takes its loans, leaving the account holder in absolute shock. Depending on the size of your salary, they can take a loan as high as 50k to 100k using your account.
It begins with a call. Someone identifies themselves as the “customer care officer” at your bank. (One give away: they never mention the name of the bank).
They reel out your entire names as they appear on your account.
They ask if you gave out your BVN to someone, and that someone is trying to withdraw money from your account.
In fact, the account was flagged because the person was withdrawing more than your account actually has. And would you supply your ATM number so they can halt the transaction?
Based on the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Report 2018, and even previous reports, over 40 percent of the fraud cases are actively supported by staff of the banks, most times, the casual and contract staff.
The NDIC 2018 report stated that, a total of 37,817 fraud cases were reported in 2018 against 26,182 in 2017.
The amount involved stood at N38.93 billion in 2018 compared to N12.01 billion in 2017.
The actual amount lost to fraud incidences in 2018 stood at N15.15 billion as against N2.37 billion and N2.40 billion in 2017 and 2016, respectively.
It attributed the rising fraud incidences to the increase in the sophistication of fraud related techniques such as hacking, cybercrime as well as increase in I.T related products and usage, fraudulent withdrawals and unauthorised credit.
The report further stated that the channels and instruments through which the reported frauds and forgeries were perpetrated indicated that internet and technology-based sources of fraud had the highest frequency, accounting for 59.2% of fraud cases and 42.83% of the actual total loss suffered.
On staff involvement in frauds and forgeries, it said a total of 899 staff were involved in fraud and forgery cases in 2018 compared with 320 in 2017.
The report further stated that the number of temporary staff involved in fraud was 394, accounting for 43.83% of the total number of staff involved in frauds.
This was followed by Officers & Executive Assistants’ cadre with 206 or 22.91 percent. Supervisors and Managers accounted for 119 or 13.24 percent of the total fraud cases.
They already know a Mastercard begins with a 5, and a Visa card begins with a 4.
Banks customers are now at the risk of being scammed.
Indeed some actually fall prey to the scammers. And the scams have gotten sophisticated with insider aid.
The fraudsters have gone so sophisticated that they obtain almost full information on a potential victim.
When they call, to sound very convincing, they tell your name as it appears on your bank account, your mother’s maiden name, date of birth and sometimes your BVN number.
The only information not available to them is your ATM card number and the password, which they try to trick you into disclosing to them.
Many a customer have fallen for the scams and have had their accounts emptied by the fraudsters.
Some discerning customers detect the fraud a mile off when the calls come in and have remained safe. It is advisable that everyone guards their phone jealously, and the minute you lose your phone or it is stolen from you, act fast to ensure your bank account is secured and impenetrable for any scammer to steal from.
– WALE LAWAL