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A notorious cyberthief has described how he can transfer money from stolen phones.

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After being caught, he was interrogated and explained in Yoruba but here is the translated version of the interrogation.

Suspect: I engage in cybercrime. What happened was that this issue that happened…
Interviewer: As you do cybercrime …
Suspect: This cybercrime is called SIM transaction, this SIM transaction is local wire. Any alert SIM that I see, if it was connected to a bank I’ll work on it. I’ll remove money from it. I’ll withdraw…

Interviewer: Explain to me now
Suspect: If it were that I was given a SIM, or any alert SIM, I will type in that code, 425100# and it shows the bank that the person is using, if for instance it shows Access Bank, I’ll dial 90100# and that would show the person’s bank account balance. If it shows that account balance and I want to reset the pin, it will ask for the person’s account number and the person’s date of birth…

Interviewer: How will you know? (Date of birth)
Suspect: The account number is usually saved with a contact, and there are some people that don’t save it as a contact. If I now see the account number on that person’s contact, I’ll then use the BVN (Bank Verification Number) to get the details.
Interviewer: How will it bring it out?
Suspect: 5650#. So when it brings it out, it will register. After it registers, I’ll be using the person’s account to do transfers.

Interviewer: You’d have changed the date of birth?
Suspect: Yes, I’d have changed the date of birth, date of birth is usually not changed. When I put the date of birth there, it will ask me to create a pin. I’ll then create a pin and it’s that pin I will use for the transfers. That’s how I do it sir.

Interviewer 2: What if there’s no money in that person’s bank account?
Suspect: In some cases, it would be that it is a salary account, so I’ll use it to borrow money. I’ll use it to collect a loan…

Interviewer 2: You’ll collect a loan?
Suspect: Yes sir, I’ll use it to collect a loan. If it was that there is no money there and it was a salary account, I’ll collect a loan.

Interviewer 2: What’s the maximum amount of money you collect as a loan?
Suspect: Some will say NGN15,000, others will say NGN 20,000, and some will say NGN5,000. That’s how it is sir.

Interviewer 2: So, if you see that person’s SIM, you’ll use it to work?
Suspect: Yes sir.

Interviewer 2: You cannot just operate with any other SIM?
Suspect: No, except any SIM that is used to get bank alerts.

Interviewer 2: So if a person is getting alerts, you can enter into the person’s account?
Suspect: Affirmative.
Interviewer 2: No matter how strong the person’s PIN is?
Suspect: I’ll do it. I’ve also done it here, they’ve seen me do it.
Interviewer 2: You’ve demonstrated?
Suspect: Yes, yes.
Interviewer 2: So if I give you my SIM that I use to get bank alerts, you can transfer, or borrow with it?
Suspect: Yes.
Interviewer 2: So where do you transfer those money too?
Suspect: I open accounts that are no-traces accounts.
Interviewer 2: Ehn?
Suspect: I open no traces accounts.
Interviewer: No trace accounts?
Suspect: Yes, no trace accounts, aza.
Interviewer 2: Aza?
Suspect: Yes sir.

Interviewer 2: What type of account is a no trace account?
Suspect: I’ll use a BVN. If for instance, this one (points to a phone) is linked to a BVN and we don’t know each other before, and I was given a SIM before. So that person’s SIM, when I look at the SIM and I get the BVN, when I see the BVN there, I’ll use it to open an account for myself. The account that I open, when I transfer money to it and if you try to trace it, you know that this (BVN) is what the bank will try to trace. That’s how it is sir, no trace account. You know it is not my BVN that I use.

Interviewer: the details of that SIM is what you use
Suspect: Yes sir,
Interviewer 2: So how do you collect your money from that account?
Suspect: Is it this one that I just did?
Interviewer 2: Yes.
Suspect: I’ve explained it to them. It is that account number…

Interviewer 2: You don’t understand me. Now if you use that SIM to create…
Suspect: It doesn’t even have to be the SIM, it can be just the BVN, and it is just the BVN that I will use to register an account

Interviewer: You will now put those details on yours so that you can access?
Suspect: I can even demonstrate it now for you to see.
Interviewer 2: You can do it?
Suspect: Yes, I can.
Interviewer 2: Any SIM at all…
Suspect: Yes.
Interviewer 2: …that doesn’t have a BVN?
Suspect: yes, I’ll do it and the account will send it.
Interviewer 2: And you’ll send it now?
Suspect: Yes, immediately.

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