BVN: Fraud­sters tar­get bank cus­tomers

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Hamisu Muham­mad

Fraud­sters, dis­guis­ing as Bank Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Num­ber (BVN) reg­is­tra­tion agents on­line with in­ten­tion to get ac­cess to banks cus­tomers ac­counts, are on ram­page, Daily Trust checks have re­vealed.

The ex­tended dead­line for the BVN reg­is­tra­tion ends on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 31, with the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria main­tain­ing there would be no fur­ther ex­ten­sion.

The BVN is a process that cap­tures all banks cus­tomers’ bio­met­ric data in or­der to im­prove the Know Your Cus­tomer (KYC) of the banks and re­duce fraud­u­lent trans­ac­tions in the coun­try.

The fraud­sters have been send­ing var­i­ous email mas­sages to cus­tomers, us­ing names of banks, as well as invit­ing the cus­tomers to reg­is­ter for BVN through their on­line plat­forms as a trick to get ac­cess to cus­tomers’ in­for­ma­tion.

“The hack­ers are rush­ing to get last minute cus­tomers as the BVN pol­icy when con­cluded will make it dif­fi­cult for them to pen­e­trate into cus­tomers’ ac­counts,” a bank staff who pleaded for anonymity told Daily Trust.

One sam­ple of the emails sent to cus­tomers seen by the Daily Trust reads as fol­lows: “Dear User, Please note that your Ac­cess On­line Ac­count has been dis­abled to trans­act with your card in­ter­na­tion­ally at the ATM, POS or on­line. Kindly reval­i­date your BVN num­ber with your on­line ac­count, fol­low our site here im­me­di­ately htttp::://­cess­bankplc. com/aboutscon­tact/ Re­tailBank/<http://www. new­gospe­ del.php>. Your ac­count will be dis­abled if you fail to go through this process com­pletely. To add se­cu­rity fea­tures to your ac­count, sign in through here htttp::://­cess­bankplc. com/home// <http://www. new­gospe­ del.php>.”

An­other hacker us­ing the Zenith Bank name to de­ceive cus­tomers, cre­ated emails such as this Zenith Bank Plc<gf­malaria@grid­con­sult­ing. net><mailto:Zenith%20 Bank%20Plc%3cgf­malaria@ grid­con­sult­>.

“Dear Cus­tomer, This is to bring to your no­tice that your ZenithDirect ac­count has been listed for sus­pen­sion. This is be­cause you have not val­i­dated/reg­is­tered your Bio­met­ric Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Num­ber with your ZenithDirect ac­count.

Fol­low this ref­er­ence to start val­i­da­tion/reg­is­tra­tion. < wp-con­tent/up­loads/2013/05/ re­vive/info.php>All in­for­ma­tion must be filled cor­rectly. Note: All atm and in­ter­net bank­ing chan­nel will be dis­abled and your re­mote ac­cess will be blocked within 12 hours fail­ure to com­ply.”

GTBank and Ecobank have sent sep­a­rate mes­sages to their cus­tomers urg­ing them to ig­nore such emails as they are fake.

GTbank said in a mes­sage en­ti­tled, “Scam emails in cir­cu­la­tion:

Our at­ten­tion has been drawn to mails be­ing sent out by fraud­sters, re­quest­ing for such sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion as In­ter­net bank­ing ac­count and ATM card de­tails. Some of th­ese mails also re­quest that cus­tomers up­date their ac­count records by click­ing on links to fake In­ter­net bank­ing and In­terswitch web­sites.”

The Eco­nomic and Financial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) has urged bank cus­tomers to ex­er­cise cau­tion in deal­ing with emails sent in the name of banks.

Ibrahim Shaz­ali of the EFCC Abuja Of­fice said that in most cases, the fraud­sters uses sus­pi­cious names to open ac­counts or uses reg­u­lar email such as ya­hoo or gmail, un­like the gen­uine banks which use their per­sonal do­main names to send mas­sages.

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