Frauds on the rise, banks caution customers

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By Usman Sulyman

Bank fraudulent acts are increasing as more customers are adopting electronic means of payment since the lockdown started in the country to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The lending institutions have also been alerting their customers to ensure more caution in transactions and continue to utilise the e-payment channels available to them.

First Bank of Nigeria stated that it recorded over 275,000 new sign-ups to alternative channels covering its Firstmobile; the USSD and First-Online platforms when the lockdown started.

In a mail to its customers, it stated, “We observed that scammers are beginning to have sleepless nights over our customers’ accounts.

“They have started sending messages on purported ATM card deactivation, due to difference in date of birth.

“They even go as far as telling you to dial their fraudulent numbers to activate your card.

“As in, they want to defraud you and they still ask you to waste your money on them! Don’t fall for it; it’s a lie!

“Let them know that you are not a zombie, let them know smartness is in your DNA. If you get any suspicious message as such, delete it immediately.

“Rest assured, FirstBank will never ask for your personal details or ask you to call a personal number.

“Also, do not click on any online link asking for your account details such as your BVN, personal information, ATM card number, PIN or OTP.”

Access Bank Plc also stated: “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the country which necessitated the lockdown of first, three major cities, and eventually the entire nation, the bank has observed a worrying increase in reports of fraudsters targeting unsuspecting customers.

“This development has become even more worrisome, especially as these people not only disguise themselves as bank representatives, but also use the palliatives from the government as bait to collect customers’ BVNs and other key banking details.

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