Fraudsters target Mobile Apps users, steal N2bn

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Internet fraudsters have swindled customers of self-initiated banking solutions, such as Mobile Apps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD, of about N2.08 billion in the last one year, going by the record of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.


CBN Director, Payment System Management, Sam Okojere, who disclosed this at the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, NeFF, general meeting in Lagos, said that customers of banks, Other Financial Institutions, OFIs, digital wallets and remittance players are prime targets for cyber criminals seeking quick monetisation of stolen credentials.

The apex bank’s data showed that Nigeria recorded over 38,000 fraud count with over N9 billion attempted fraud value within 12 months. An estimated N2.08 billion was lost in 2018, with mobile channel recording the highest volume and value, of 11, 492 in volume and N598.8 million in actual loss value. The loss value is 25.7 per cent higher than the 2017 figure.

Okojere said that the more products (cheques and over-the-counter services) are channeled through those mobile devices as against previously used channels, the more attractive they become to fraudsters.

He also disclosed that the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, NIBBS, Fraud Report for last year showed that the mobile channel scored 28.21 per cent on the Fraud Interest Index.

The bank chief said: “This could be an early warning sign that fraudsters are shifting focus to mobile attacks and testing the waters in different types of mobile and online banking fraud in 2019.

“It is therefore important that we do not relent in our efforts at protecting this space and increasing public confidence in our electronic channels.

“The truth is that you do not need to go to a bank’s branch to carry out a transaction. Most people are carrying their cards in their phones. The money is not in the phone, but is a channel through which you can assess your bank account and the money in it.

“It is because the attentions of the cyber attackers have moved to the mobile platforms. They are one of us, so they know where the interest is going. One of the things we are doing is to create awareness for both the users and the operators, so that they can tighten the security around mobile device.”

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