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SECURITY NUMBERS

In a rapidly changing technological age the electronic payment system is not only an easy and acceptable mode of transacting business, but increasingly becoming a way of life when it comes to meeting financial obligation from day to day.


Today the Automated Teller Machine {ATM} is usually only a step away for initiating payments for; utility bills, school fees, cash transfers, airtime recharge and the likes. In spite of the immense advantages that e-payment offers through the use of debit and credit cards the incidence of card fraud portents a major threat to bank customers and Financial Institutions of many Countries as fraudulent transactions result in huge financial losses running into millions of dollars.

Nigeria like many Countries of the world has had her shares of unpleasant tales relating to card frauds even as the Authorities seek more sophisticated techniques for fraud detection and prevention to mitigate the crime. While Nigeria has earned damaging reputation over crime relating to credit card fraud many have also suffered untold losses over ATM fraud.

Following this the CBN has collaborated with the Nigeria Police to combat this criminal act of electronic fraud in the Country. Criminals can place counterfeit devices that read and copy ATM card pins without being detected by customers. This information is subsequently used for illegal creation of duplicate cards. In some cases hackers get account information by using WIFI scanners and cracking programmes to download transaction data through which they defraud accounts owners. There are often cases where people pretending to be customers waiting to use the ATM volunteer in helping other customers to enter their pin numbers.

Experts say criminals target ATM because they know if they can get the card and the pin then they can get the cash. So be extra careful.

HINTS
Never disclose your banking details to strangers or individuals you don’t trust. Insist that the next customer waiting in line to use the ATM gives you enough space as you key in your pin. Cover the keypad with other hand to block anyone or camera from viewing the numbers you type. Update your contact information with your Financial Institution.

Note that your bank can only verify a suspicious change through SMS on your current phone number. Copy the Customer Service phone number written down and keep in a safe place in case of card theft. Let Issuer know your travel date and destination to alert your bankers about a suspicious transaction from unknown location.
Sign up for banking alert offered by your Financial Institution to inform you when particular changes occur such as irregular card activities. Ensure the bank security guards are always close by especially at night. If your card gets stuck in the machine call your Financial Institution promptly to alert them. Your card can be compromised by members of your own family or staff. So never be careless with your debit or credit card.

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