Nigerian financial system has been jolted by a lethal development; and that is the growing activities of cyber criminals who work in and outside the system.
Website cloning, Identity fraud and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) scams, are now so rampant that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), banks, switching companies, the police and users are having sleepless nights.
Last year, Nigeria was estimated to have lost about $450 million to cybercrimes. The most common today is the fake bank alerts scam which is growing in scope.
In this method of scamming, fraudsters pose as potential buyers of goods or services provided by the bank customer and after both parties have agreed on a price, send fake SMS’s indicating they have deposited money into the sellers’ account.
The criminals usually hope their targets will believe the SMS is real and would not bother to do a security with his/her bank before releasing the goods.
And then there is also website cloning scam where websites of genuine financial institutions are cloned by the scammers using what is known as phishing, the criminals send fraudulent SMS and emails to victims directing them to ingenuine websites where they are asked to input sensitive data.
In the emails, the criminals will have attachments that, when clicked, secretly install “spyware” that can capture personal information and send it to third parties over the internet. With the information supplied by victims, the criminals successfully broke into the victims’ bank accounts leaving tales of woes and losses.
The CBN, said it is working on modalities for new regulations to stem the rising losses that emanate from cybercrime and technology risk in the financial sector.
Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, deputy governor, CBN, said that “There is compelling need to redesign regulations that will address risk that may emanate from the new emerging and increasing modern class of financial firms.”