Internet/ online-banking and automated Teller Machine/ card -related fraud-types reported constituted 92.68 per cent of all the reported cases estimated at N15 billion annually, findings have shown. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) insists the increasing sophistication of e-fraudsters has contributed the e-fraud persistence. The financial sector regulator called on stakeholders on the need to tame the rising incidences of e-fraud and the need to develop new strategies to address them.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated, using advanced techniques and technologies to target unsuspecting individuals and organisations.
Aside significant financial losses, the financial sector is also exposed to potential compromise and loss of customer data, and disruption of operations, which undermine stakeholders’ confidence in financial system stability.
The financial services sector is particularly susceptible to cybercrime given its crucial role of financial intermediation in a highly connected financial system
CBN Director, Payment Systems Management and Chairman, The Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), Musa Jimoh disclosed this at the group’s third quarter general meeting held in Lagos with theme: “New strategies for combating e-fraud in cash-less environment”.
He said there is need to adopt new strategies in combating e-Fraud in a cash-less environment.
He said: “In our efforts to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial systems, collaboration and information sharing are vital. It is undeniable that the transition towards a cashless society has brought numerous benefits and convenience in facilitating financial transactions.
However, it has also come with its fair share of challenges, particularly in combating electronic fraud”.
A five-year trend of the cases received and resolved by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Sub-Committee on Ethics showed that in 2016, 136 cases were treated with N27.63 billion fraud cases against banks’ staff.
The figure rose to N30.6 billion in 2017 where 107 cases were treated and dropped to N8.5 billion in 2018.
The 2019 breaches showed 62 complaints worth N10.8 billion were registered against banks and their staff by customers.
According to the CIBN, there were also banks/customers-related cases which were brought from the courts to the committee for resolutions.
Jimoh said the financial sector steadily increased its use of e-payment systems adding that the adoption of e-payment channels as a preferred channel of payment increases increases the incidence of electronic fraud.
“This heightened incidence of fraud therefore brought to the fore the need for the creation of a body (named “the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) which consists of all relevant stakeholders to actively and proactively react to this challenge to safeguard integrity of the e-payment channels,” it said.
“NeFF is a dedicated platform established to combat electronic fraud within the country. It serves as a collaborative forum where various stakeholders, including financial institution, law enforcement agencies and relevant industry players, come together to address and mitigate risks posed by electronic fraud,” it said.
He said the group is striving to promote a safe and secure digital payments ecosystem.
According to him, it is essential that the group members continuously adapt its strategies and stay several steps ahead of fraudsters who seek to exploit vulnerabilities in our systems.
He said NeFF serves as a platform for stakeholders from government agencies, financial institutions, technology providers, law enforcernent agencies, and other key players to come together, share experiences, and develop effective strategies to combat e- fraud.
He said the goals of NeFF are to strengthening Cybersecurity by strengthening Nigeria’s financial and digital infrastructures resilience to cyber- attacks and electronic fraud.
He said that NeFF provides tactics and standards to prevent fraudulent actions by identifying and comprehending fraud tendencies and seeks to discover fraud incidents as soon as possible and to take proactive actions to reduce the impact on consumers and businesses.
“The forum encourages education and training Initiatives to help its members and other stakeholders improve their cybersecurity skills. Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum facilitates the rapid identification and reaction to electronic fraud situations by encouraging cooperation and communication among its members This proactive strategy aids in the reduction of financial losses, the maintenance of customer trust, and the promotion of faith in the nation’s electronic payment systems,” he said.
“Overall NEFF is critical to upgrading Nigeria’s cybersecurity landscape and protecting against the ever-changing threats posed by electronic fraud,” he said.