Nigeria witnessed a surge of 207.9 per cent from fraudulent activities, the amount of money lost in the third quarter of 2022, totalling N3.6 billion, according to reports on Frauds and Forgeries in Nigerian Banks.
Brand News Day reports that the report published by the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), recorded that the amount jumped to N3.6 billion in Q3 from N1.2 billion in the previous quarter, while the sum reported being involved in fraud cases increased slightly by 9.5 per cent to N9.62 billion.
“There was an increase reported in both the total amount involved in and the actual or expected amount lost to fraudulent activities,” it said.
It said the e-Naira continues to be featured as an instrument of fraud in Africa’s biggest economy’s banking system.
The report by FITC further revealed that there was a sustained increase in the amount involved and lost within bank branches fraud.
“As a result of compromised personal banking details or misuse of service platforms, customers are increasingly vulnerable to fraud incidents in Q3 as in previous quarters.”
The report revealed that the fraud activities were performed using a range of channels, including Automatic Teller Machines (ATM), Web, and mobile banking platforms (including the eNaira), bank branches and Point of Sales (PoS) terminals.
A Breakdown of the report showed that the amount involved through ATM channels rose by 9.7 per cent to N222 million, Bank rose by 20.8 per cent to N3.71 billion, mobile was 69.7 per cent (N1.67 billion) and PoS was 26.9 per cent (N393 million).
“On the other hand, a decrease was only noted for fraud through the web channel from N3.6 billion to N2.6 billion which is a 27.6 decrease from the previous quarter”, the report stated.
According to stakeholders in the digital industry, the growing cyber security threats which can also be associated with fraud activities could ultimately hinder financial inclusion.
Assane Gueye, professor at Carnegie Mellon University Africa said as more people are moving into the financial inclusion net, we should be mindful of the things that can hinder its success of it such as cyber security attacks.
He said while we are developing the technologies to include more people, they should be more secure or preserve peoples’ data and privacy and also align with people’s reality. “We should be more intentional that these technologies will bring more good and not harm.
Meanwhile, the FITC report recommends that it is necessary for banks to improve internal control measures so that fraud activities are proactively prevented.
“There is also a need to review fraud control measures in place in the physical bank branches as there was a sustained increase in the amount involved in fraud activities and ultimately the increase in the amount lost in bank branches.
“To reduce incidences of fraud within the branches of the bank, all fraud control touchpoints must be reviewed critically for loopholes and when these loopholes are identified, efforts must be made to close the gaps to avoid future occurrences,” it added.
It said as always, banks should continue the ongoing sensitisation of their customers on the need to protect their personal details across various channels and banking platforms.