Top 5 Online and Banking Scams You Need to Avoid in Nigeria

Top 5 Online and Banking Scams You Need to Avoid in Nigeria

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Top 5 Online and Banking Scams You Need to Avoid in Nigeria

Electronic transaction was encouraged by CBN cashless policy to drastically reduce the volume of physical cash in the economy, one of the objectives of this policy is “Inefficiency & Corruption– High cash usage enables corruption, leakages and money laundering, amongst other cash-related fraudulent activities.”

In 2018, about N15.5 billion was lost to bank fraud. About 60% of the fraud was perpetrated online owing to available internet-based and tech-rated banking services.

“When your data leaks, it could end up for sale on the Dark Web within months, putting you on combo lists that could make you an easy target for advanced attacks,” says Perttu Tynkkynen, Vice President, Consumer Sales and Marketing at F-Secure.

For this reasons we need to be aware of the most popular malicious techniques used to get unauthorized access to our private information and financial data.

  1. SCAM/SPAM:

Spam is a generic term used to describe electronic ‘junk mail’ or unwanted messages sent to your email account or mobile phone. These messages vary, but are essentially commercial and often annoying in their sheer volume. They may try to persuade you to buy a product or service, or visit a website
where you can make purchases; or they may attempt to trick you into divulging your bank account or credit card details.

Fake USSD codes exist and should not be used unless you are sure it is your bank’s legal USSD code.

See the list of USSD Codes of Nigeria Banks.

In the name of SIM upgrades, Nigerians should very careful with USSD codes use for Telecoms’ Sim upgrades as directed by NIMC, there unverified reports that some people have become victims for using fakes USSD codes created by fraudsters.

The power of the internet and email communication has made it all too easy for email scams to flourish. These schemes often arrive uninvited by email. Many are related to the well documented Nigerian Scam or Lotto Scams and use similar tactics in one form or another.

In the name of SIM upgrades, Nigerians should very careful with USSD codes use for Telecoms’ Sim upgrades as directed by NIMC

2. PHISHING:  A person’s personal details are obtained by fraudsters posing as bankers, who float a site similar to that of the person’s bank. They are asked to provide all personal information about themselves and their account to the bank on the pretext of database upgradation. The number and password are then used to carry out transactions on their behalf without their knowledge. 

Top 5 Online and Banking Scams You Need to Avoid in Nigeria

Phishing is a technique used to gain personal information for the purpose of identity theft. Phishing involves using a form of spam to fraudulently gain access to people’s online banking details. As well as targeting online banking customers, phishing emails may target online auction sites or other online payment facilities.

Internet banking scams is a fraud or theft committed using online technology to illegally remove money from a bank account and/or transfer money to an account in a different bank. Internet banking fraud is a form of identity theft and is usually made possible through techniques such as phishing.

3. SITES URL: Always check the URL of your bank’s web site. Fraudsters can lure you to enter your user ID and password at a fake website that resembles your bank. If you see anything other than the bank’s genuine URL, it has to be fake. 
 Hackers have set up fake URLs for some banks, using website names that sound genuine in order to trick people into handing over their personal information and log-in details. Many fake URLs have an extra letter or character that may go unnoticed at a glance, such as www.firsbanknigeria.com instead of www.firstbanknigeria.com or www.zenitbank.com instead www.zenithbank.com.

Top 5 Online and Banking Scams

Also, pay attention to domain names, email addresses, spelling errors, as these can be signals of impending fraud.

4. SPYWARE: Spyware is generally considered to be software that is secretly installed on a computer and takes things from it without the permission or knowledge of the user. Spyware may take personal information, business information, bandwidth or processing capacity and secretly gives it to someone else. It is recognised as a growing problem.

Top Online and Banking Scams

5. FACEBOOK IMPERSONATION: Just imagine your Facebook account being hacked by a cybercriminal and gaining access to your close friends and family. It’s still the most popular social media network where everyone is active and uses it on a daily basis to keep in touch with friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, it has become also the perfect place for online scammers to find their victims.

Facebook security tips might help you stay away from these online scams:

  • Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know
  • Do not share your password with others
  • When logging in, use two-factor authentication
  • Avoid connecting to public and free Wi-Fi networks



While fraudsters continue to develop new ways entering customers’ vulnerabilities, Nigerian banks need to use the Cybercrime Act  to prosecute and jail offenders as a way to boost confidence in the banking sector and deter fraud in the future.

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