According to the record of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), e-fraudsters have fleeced 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.
CBN Director, Payment System Management, Sam Okojere, who broke the news 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.”
Also speaking at the forum, Executive Director, IT and Operations at Access Bank Plc, Ade Bajomo, said no bank is totally free of cyber-attacks.
To him, there are two classes of banks in Nigeria, when it comes to cyber-attacks: those that have been hacked, and those that do not know they have been hacked.
Bajomo, said hacking is a serious concern for the payment industry, given that there are even companies selling hacking toolkits, encouraging people to go into hacking.
He said: “As we gather here today, there are people who do the same in the dark world. Banks need tone compliant with needed certification for them to be ahead of the e-fraudsters. The nature of sophistication of the e-fraudsters means no one is safe. Some of the mare wares are difficult to understand.
“Banks are where the money is and that’s why they are the primary target. And I can say that only two things can break a bank, the level of their bad loans and fraud.
“It does not matter, once one person is porous, the entire system is affected. We need to create more awareness of the need to protect our financial system.”
Continuing, Okojere, who is also the Chairman of NeFF, urged banks to unite in fighting electronic fraud through a collaboration that will make the ecosystem safer and more inclusive.
He explained that just like technology, electronic fraud has evolved over the years and fraudsters continue to innovate ways to beat the system and elude authorities around the world.
Noting that the Nigeria payment ecosystem has come a long way, particularly in developing techniques to prevent electronic fraud, Okojere said: “Given the importance of providing safe, secure and acceptable payments system, as well as engendering public confidence in electronic means of settlement for goods and services (payments), the role of a proactive management cannot be over-emphasised. It was on this backdrop, that the NeFF was created and has since been riding.
“The aim of NeFF has been to enable information exchange and knowledge sharing on fraud issues amongst key stakeholders with the objective of ensuring a collaborative and proactive approach towards mitigating fraud occurrences, limiting .loses and enhancing confidence.
“Additionally, NeFF has positioned itself to serve as the official body that represents the industry’s position on fraud related issues, while proffering solutions that restore public confidence in the payment ecosystem.”
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has begun the biometric verification of the 1.8 candidates who sat for this year’s unified tertiary matriculation examination, it was learnt yesterday.
It was further learnt that the exercise embarked upon by the board, was responsible for the delay in releasing the UTME results conducted from April 11 to April 18.
The board has already carried out biometric verification of candidates in 31 states.
It is presently verifying those of candidates from six other states, The Nation further learnt.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, confirmed this to our reporter in an interview, yesterday in Abuja.
He said the board was cross-checking everything pertaining to the conduct of the examination, including fingerprints of candidates.
Prof. Oloyede, who did not list the states the board has so far verified the fingerprints of candidates, said: “We are cross-checking everything, including fingers. If you know that you have about 1.8 candidates multiplied by ten that is the finger we are talking about.
“If you are very close to National Identity Card Management Commission (NIMC), ask them what it takes to analyse finger prints in terms of period.
“We are combining 1.8 million ten fingers with one another to be sure that we identify people who combine fingers and so on. That is where we are now.
“We have done all other and now we have about six states to go. As I speak with you I am at a retreat with those who are doing it. We have about six states to go. We have done 31 states and six states are still not completed now.”
Asked when the board would release the result of the UTME, the registrar said: “I don’t know but it will be very soon. As soon as we complete what we are doing.”
The registrar denied reports that the board may cancel half of the results of states found to have been involved in malpractice during the examination.
When asked which state was affected most by malpractice this year, he said: “I don’t know. I cannot say which state because I don’t know. It is not just issue of malpractice.”
Oloyede said there was nothing wrong with the board’s server, adding that the board was cleaning up the rot in the education system.
He said: “There is no problem at all but everything must be done thoroughly and that is what we are doing. There is no problem. All the rumour about problem is a lie and I would not tell a whole nation what is not true. I can’t put my integrity on line. There is no problem at all.
“We are doing what we set to do and it is a scientific thing and there is no way I can expedite it beyond this. I t is taking human and material resources but we must do it. Somebody must standup against this rot. That’s all.”
Oloyede also said the board would probe alleged involvement of some of its staff who connived with some computer based test centre operators to perpetrate malpractice during the examination.
The registrar said: “Where staff members are identified to have been involved, if there are reported cases, we will investigate. There are one or two cases that are very obvious and we are taking action because as we appoint our staff and other ad-hoc, we appointed some eminent Nigerians to monitor the monitors and we have analysed their reports.
“Where an ad hoc or permanent staff is alleged to have done what he or she is not supposed to do we will take the normal process and procedure.”
Some UTME candidates have appealed to the examination body to release their results.
The candidates spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Bwari.
The Board, has repeatedly said that it would take its time to screen the results because of the several infractions dicovered during the exercise.
Madueke John, a candidate said that the long wait for the results has held some of the candidates back, while also causing a lot of tension.
He said: “With everything we are hearing from JAMB and other media reports we are getting, we are tensed. I know I did not do anything that will incriminate me during the exams but the entire process this time around has really changed.
“If JAMB, while screening, discovered those who are innocent, why don’t they release those ones and continue screening others, seriously, this is taking forever.
“I really don’t know what to expect again, but please, they should just focus on this year’s exercise and release at least parts of the results to reduce the tension.”
Another candidate, Henrietta Adams, said that the board is undoubtedly doing what it deemed best for the country.
She, however, added that it would also do a lot of good if some of the results are released.
Adam added that the long wait has caused some of the candidates to be unsure of what may happen at the end of the day.
She said: “Even if you are sure you did not commit any malpractice during the exercise, with the way the entire process is going, one is forced to start thinking if one’s result will be held for mere turning his or her head during the examination.
“I truly don’t know what to say or expect again, I am just confused, if at least some results were released in parts like last year, then at least, one will be hopeful but as it is, only God knows what they may come up with next. We will continue to wait but please JAMB, do something soonest.”
Mr Joseph Onimisi, a candidate’s parent, commended the board for exposing some of the corruption in the system, but advised that parts of the results be released too.
This, he said would reduce the criticism of the board by those skeptical of the intention of the board, adding that the entire process may take longer than the board expected.