How fraudsters are using BVN to cheat cutomers

By Joshua Amaugo November 19, 2015 12:06

How fraudsters are using BVN to cheat cutomers

With the introduction of the Bank Verification Number, BVN, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had informed Nigerians that the policy was adopted in order to guarantee and cut down fraudulent activities on bank accounts amongst several other benefits.

Despite the hassle customers were subjected to while trying to enroll and link their number to various accounts, reports of widespread fraud have emerged with more stories popping up daily.

Onome Adeleye, who is one of the victims, said “I decided to fill my fuel tank with N6, 000 and I did not have cash with me. So, I opted to use the Point of Sale, POS, machine which the attendant dangled conspicuously.

      “I got an alert for the transaction on my phone almost immediately and drove out of the station.

“But, about 30 minutes later, I got another alert on my phone saying that I just used my credit card on another POS machine at a supermarket.

“I was alarmed because I never did. I was driving at the time. The message indicated that I was debited N3, 000 for the transaction.”

Adeleye said she went back to the filling station the following day, but this time, the attendant said the POS machine was not available.

    “There was no hard fact and pattern to confront the attendant with. So, I just let it be.”

Another victim, Muinat Fashogbon, said “We were attacked by armed robbers in August in our house around 2am.

      “After threatening to shoot my husband if he refused to cooperate, they asked for our ATM cards and the Personal Identification Numbers. We thought they were going to withdraw the money from the nearest ATM point but what happened a few minutes after they left showed otherwise.

“They were still in the neighborhood when we got an alert on our phones that we used our credit cards to pay for goods on a POS deployed in a shopping mall around 2am.

“The entire amount in our accounts was less than N30, 000. The surprising aspect was the link between the robbery and the POS at the said mall. “

Forensic investigator, Adedotun Adewusi Adeleye described “skimming” as a method of cloning and harvesting the bank details of a depositor from his or her ATM card.

      “Skimming accounts for 80% of this fraud. This type of fraud known as card skimming involves swiping your debit or credit card through a card reader that has been illegitimately set up to record information from your card’s magnetic stripe or chip.

“After your information has been recorded, it is usually then sold to other scammers in the black market or converted into a counterfeit card and used to make fraudulent purchases.

“Another way through which malicious hackers work is through open wireless access points, which individuals connect to for free, and start browsing the Internet, not knowing it was specially configured by hackers with the purpose to harvest all their confidential information,” he said.

Public Relations Officer, First Bank Plc. Babatunde Lasaki, said bank fraud was a global phenomenon not peculiar to a country or bank.

He explained that the way many bank customers transact business also predisposes them to risk. “It is either that the accounts of such customers have been compromised due to their own actions. E-payment system is a network and the industry as a whole is on top of the situation.