Home FEATURES NIGERIAN BANKS AND HACKERS: HOW SAFE IS YOUR ACCOUNT?

NIGERIAN BANKS AND HACKERS: HOW SAFE IS YOUR ACCOUNT?

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Immanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu

On two occasions, my bank account has been breached, N500,000 stolen in total. In both cases, I was not refunded despite my efforts, the bank protected by that standard claim: “You compromised your details.” No matter how you have safeguarded your details, their argument prevails.

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Someone’s account was hacked into recently, his funds moved. It took the bank weeks, following his persistent agitations, to provide the details of the recipient—by which time the thief had fled. Bureaucracy, claimed the bank, as the CSU said recipient details “could not be seen on screen”.

A lady living abroad recently had her ATM card with her, yet N1.7 million was moved in quick batches through “POS transactions”. Yahoo guys have an elaborate means to move funds from your account through different hoops and loops, so much they can’t be traced. Your bank will not reimburse you. Oftentimes, these things sound so distant and unreal until they happen to you.

Sometime ago, a story trended about a lady who lost N2.1 million in minutes. Mobile App. Her phone was not stolen, no. She had no ATM card. Alerts just kept buzzing in and she couldn’t stop them. The bank did not provide recipient details for whatever reasons. It can happen to you.

I just got off the phone with a banker-friend. The fraudsters are smarter, he admits. Banks are actually working 24/7 to curb fraud, but they are clearly a step behind. He said things that got me shocked. Sometimes, hackers lock the bank out of their own system, which explains the delays in providing details of recipient accounts.

When I had my own issues, I wrote to 6 newspapers. Only one of them published. Corporate interest ensures the media keep mute on these stories. Judicial redress can take years. Your funds are not safe, trust me.

Which is why I am writing this. Nowadays, phones are stolen for the SIM cards, so hackers could access your account and clear it in minutes. You can lose your phone anytime and your bank can’t prevent the theft or refund you. I hear POS ports can also be manipulated to steal account details. Where banks are routinely hacked, how safe is internet banking as you punch in those passwords? What is the safest way to safeguard your accounts—can anyone please share?

 

 

 

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