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Cybersecurity: EFCC alerts consumers to increasing ATM, POS scams

A Consumer Withdrawing Money from ATM in Nigeria

*Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission enjoins the banking public to be ‘more circumspect’ in their use of debit cards to avoid debit card swapping or frauds in the country’s financial ecosystem

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Expressing concern about the reported increases in cases of theft in the Nigerian financial system,  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that the rate of illegal withdrawals from bank accounts of customers has become alarming in the country.

Dele Oyewale, Head of Media and Publicity, who said this in a statement, noted after some investigations, the Commission discovered that such withdrawals are linked to Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Debit Card swapping or fraud.

The anti-graft Commission also said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been inundated with a barrage of complaints from well-meaning Nigerians concerning unauthorised withdrawals from their bank accounts, which investigations by the commission have linked to Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Debit Card swapping or fraud.

How cyberfraudsters operate

The Commission noted: “Modus operandi of fraudsters involved in this nefarious practice involves keeping a debit card of the same bank, and in the guise of helping a confused bank customer at any ATM point, swaps the card in such a hurry that the customer would not notice and at the same time memorises the pin used in trying the fake cards.”

The EFCC further explained: “These cards get stuck in the machine due to a wrong pin and the fraudster quickly abandons the victim, advising him/her to report to the bank while making away with the victim’s card to make immediate withdrawals from the account.”

On card swapping at financial service delivery points

According to the Commission, “card swapping typically happens in any service delivery point, such as Point of Sale, POS, terminals, ATM points, among others.”

It stated that the “banking public is enjoined to be more circumspect in the use of debit cards.”

How to protect yourself against frauds

The following tips may be useful in avoiding further financial losses by the banking public, stated EFCC.

  1. Cards should be kept in sight or in a safe place. Whenever you get your card back after making any payment, make sure it is actually your card and not just one that looks similar.
  2. Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transaction.
  3. Set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card.
  4. Cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at POS terminal/ATM machines.
  5. Do not be in a rush to make payments or withdrawals, and request assistance only from officials of the bank.
  6. Call your banks to block your ATM cards immediately when your cards are stuck in the ATM machines or whenever you observe any irregularity.
  7. Ensure you know your bank’s ATM offline blocking code and quickly use it whenever it is misplaced or stolen.
  8. Dial the USSD code *966*911# and follow the pop-up instructions to block your ATM card instantly.

The Commission’s statement added: “The EFCC will not relent in safeguarding personal, corporate and national finances in its quest to rid our nation of all forms of economic and financial crimes.”

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