CBN calls for collaboration to tackle identity theft, social engineering

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday called for collaboration among banks and other stakeholders in tackling identity theft and social engineering in the sector.

Dipo Fatokun, director, banking services department, CBN, made this call during the anti-fraud week stakeholders’ workshop themed” identity theft and social engineering”, organised by Access Bank plc in Lagos.

“Identity theft and social engineering is something no single individual can deal with alone, it requires collaborated efforts of which CBN partners with other banks and regulators such as the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) for issues like sim swap through a memorandum of understanding and joint technical committee to address such issues”, Fatokun said.   

Represented by Olubukola Akinwunmi of the CBN, he said banks are expected to watch-list customers whose accounts are linked to fraudulent or suspicious activities.

Responding to questions from journalists, he said banks have the responsibility to enrol their customers and also to verify each customer. Banks need to improve on their controls to ensure that appropriate steps are taken and customers are properly validated before transactions.

On the issue of Bank Verification Number (BVN) not matching account holders, he said banks should review their accounts and customers regularly and that it should be a regular cleansing activity.

In his welcome address, Herbert Wigwe, group managing director/CEO, Access Bank said, there are diverse forms of cybercrime but social engineering and identity theft are quite rampant and is giving the financial sectors problems regardless of the advanced digital and technological innovations.

Represented by Pattison Boleigha, chief conduct and compliance officer, Access Bank, he made reference to a report released in 2014 where it showed that 0.8 percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) was lost through cybercrime.

He explained that fraudsters rely on any information they can get and has resorted to softer targets to carry out their criminal activities because financial data can be compromised with human factor

He also faulted the customers for not being able to recognize threat and also not being able to report the loss of vital items like debit and credit cards, phones, sim cards and also their carelessness in divulging vital information to strangers who pose as account officers.

 He therefore advised that stakeholder of the financial sector must corporate and form a partnership that will combat all forms of cybercrime.

Speaking with journalists, at the event, Ade Bajomo, executive director, information technology and operations, Access Bank, said the objective of the workshop is about sharing information and deepening knowledge about issues related to fraud and social engineering, as fraud is one of the fastest growing in the crime industry.

“These days, everything is becoming more digitalized till the extent that transactions can be done on the streets using accounts and bank transfers and the more advanced our digital resources are the more need to create awareness because we are only as strong as our collective awareness, this program is also to bring together industry knowledge, industry experts and  participants in the financial sector services, to share information and knowledge in order to  protect customers and establish trust in the industry and facilitate commerce and better experience for customers”, Bajomo said.



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