Fraudsters, disguising as Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration agents online with intention to get access to banks customers accounts, are on rampage, Daily Trust checks have revealed.
The extended deadline for the BVN registration ends on Saturday, October 31, with the Central Bank of Nigeria maintaining there would be no further extension.
The BVN is a process that captures all banks customers’ biometric data in order to improve the Know Your Customer (KYC) of the banks and reduce fraudulent transactions in the country.
The fraudsters have been sending various email massages to customers, using names of banks, as well as inviting the customers to register for BVN through their online platforms as a trick to get access to customers’ information.
“The hackers are rushing to get last minute customers as the BVN policy when concluded will make it difficult for them to penetrate into customers’ accounts,” a bank staff who pleaded for anonymity said.
One sample of the emails sent to customers seen by the Daily Trust reads as follows: “Dear User, Please note that your Access Online Account has been disabled to transact with your card internationally at the ATM, POS or online. Kindly re-validate your BVN number with your online account, follow our site here immediately htttp::://www.accessbankplc.com/aboutscontact/RetailBank/<http://www.newgospelent.com/scripts/del.php>. Your account will be disabled if you fail to go through this process completely. To add security features to your account, sign in through here htttp::://www.accessbankplc.com/home// <http://www.newgospelent.com/scripts/del.php>.”
Another hacker using the Zenith Bank name to deceive customers, created emails such as this Zenith Bank Plc<[email protected]><mailto:Zenith%20Bank%20Plc%[email protected]%3e>.
“Dear Customer, This is to bring to your notice that your ZenithDirect account has been listed for suspension. This is because you have not validated/registered your Biometric Verification Number with your ZenithDirect account.
Follow this reference to start validation/registration. <http://www.patto.com.tw/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/revive/info.php>All information must be filled correctly. Note: All atm and internet banking channel will be disabled and your remote access will be blocked within 12 hours failure to comply.”
GTBank and Ecobank have sent separate messages to their customers urging them to ignore such emails as they are fake.
GTbank said in a message entitled, “Scam emails in circulation:
Our attention has been drawn to mails being sent out by fraudsters, requesting for such sensitive information as Internet banking account and ATM card details. Some of these mails also request that customers update their account records by clicking on links to fake Internet banking and Interswitch websites.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has urged bank customers to exercise caution in dealing with emails sent in the name of banks.
Ibrahim Shazali of the EFCC Abuja Office said that in most cases, the fraudsters uses suspicious names to open accounts or uses regular email such as yahoo or gmail, unlike the genuine banks which use their personal domain names to send massages.