150m Nigerians at risk of cyber fraud


Over 150 million Nigerians in the financial system are at risk of being defrauded through telecommunications platforms, says Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Umar Danbatta, gave the warning in an address during the inauguration of a multi-sectoral committee on e-fraud in Abuja on Wednesday.

Recent data released by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access had revealed that over 150 million Nigerians were included in the financial system.

Danbatta who was represented by Adeleke Adewolu, said the population was “vulnerable to financial fraud at any time” as a result of mobile app integration with online payment platforms and other financial resources.

To effectively combat e-fraud, Danbatta said customer service and fraud operations teams in banks and the mobile network operators needed tighter processes and guidelines on how to detect potentially fraudulent activities.

According to him, the NCC is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and other relevant agencies to fight e-fraud in Nigeria.

Danbatta, said the malevolent use of technology in financial fraud had become a growing concern in the industry.

“Mobile apps as a whole are now quite easy for hackers and cyber-criminals to hijack or corrupt, making them tools for fraudsters to steal personal credentials, impersonate genuine bank account holders, and gain illicit access to funds.”

“Phishing tactics and social engineering ploys such as illegal SIM swap are part and parcel of the online fraud mechanism, regardless of whether the transactions are conducted via mobile phone, desktop browser, or point of presence”, he added.

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