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Outsmarting Fraudsters: How to Protect Yourself from Fraud

Victor Odogwu
Published: April 25, 2024

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Financial fraud is a major problem in Nigeria, with criminals using increasingly sophisticated tactics to steal money and personal information. As a bank customer, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and take steps to secure your accounts and data from fraudsters. In this post, we’ll explore ways to protect yourself against common fraud schemes online, at home, and in public places in Nigeria.


Protecting Against Online Fraud

Cybercriminals are constantly devising new ways to gain unauthorized access to computers, mobile devices, and online accounts. To stay safe online, follow these best practices:


1. Passwords:

Use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts, especially your bank logins. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdates or names. I know you have the urge to use your date of birth or your name, but you have to resist because chances are someone trying to get to your money can get those details.


2. Two-factor Authentication:

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a one-time code in addition to your password. We cannot say it enough use 2 Factor Authentication”!


3. Phishing Emails:

Be wary of phishing emails or text messages asking for personal information or login credentials, even if they appear to be from a legitimate source. Criminals often create fake websites that mimic banks and other trusted organizations. Your bank will never ask for your login details or tell you to confirm a code sent to your phone.


4. Regular Updates:

Keep your software and operating systems up-to-date with the latest security patches to protect against known vulnerabilities. Your bank is always on the watch for new ways fraudsters use in stilling your money and may sometimes add security updates to your bank app to combat them. So ensure you regularly check and update your bank apps.


Protecting Against Fraud at Home

Fraudsters may also attempt to target you at your residence through various means, such as:


1. Impersonation:

Impersonating bank officials, law enforcement, or utility workers to gain access to your home and steal valuables or personal information. Please do not be quick to trust just anyone who shows up at your doorstep; ask for some ID. If they claim to be from your bank; ask for proof. Your bank will have ways to prove their intentions to you.


2. Fraudulent Emails:

Sending fraudulent emails claiming you’ve won a prize or inheritance, but requesting upfront fees or personal details. I beg oh! No be you lucky pass for Naija! So if you get a message telling you you have winnings you know nothing about, thread carefully and never send money to anybody to claim your award.




3. Fraudulent Calls:

Making unsolicited phone calls or visits to pressure you into sharing sensitive information or making hasty financial decisions. Please, be calming down!


To avoid falling victim, always verify the identity of anyone claiming to represent an official organization. Never provide personal or financial information over the phone or email unless you initiate the contact.



Protecting Against Fraud in Public Places

1. When conducting financial transactions or using ATMs in public, take the following precautions:

2. Shield your PIN and card information from prying eyes or hidden cameras. Ensure nobody is standing too close when you are using the ATM.

3. Be cautious of individuals offering unsolicited assistance or attempting to distract you during transactions. If you must use help from someone, let it be the security personnel provided by the bank at the ATM.

4. Avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary sensitive documents. You may be scared of another cash scarcity, but it’s better to have money in your account and not be able to withdraw hard cash than for your hard cash to be stolen from you.

5. Use trusted ATMs located in well-lit, secure areas, and be on the lookout for any signs of tampering or skimming devices. You cannot be too careful when using the ATM.



By staying vigilant and following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to financial fraud in Nigeria. Remember, your bank will never ask for your full login credentials or other sensitive information through unsolicited communication. If you suspect any fraudulent activity, report it to your bank immediately.




For more on fraud, visit our fraud page.


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