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Rising consumer complaints in banking sector

Almost on a daily bases, Nigerian bank customers have one complaint or the other regarding their banking experience.

Greater number of consumer complaints about banking services relate to excess charges, Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) issues, Point of Sale (PoS), Bank Verification Number (BVN), cheque related issues and fraud among others.

A total of 1,612 complaints from consumers of financial services were received in six months of the second half of 2018, indicating an increase of 173 complaints or 12.02 per cent over the 1,439 received in the first half of 2018.

The Financial Stability Report (FSR) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for December 2018, revealed that out of this number, 1,602 complaints or 99.38 per cent were against banks, while 10 complaints or 0.62 per cent were against Other Financial Institutions (OFIs). The complaints were in various categories, such as Excess/Unauthorised charges, Frauds, Guarantees, Dispense errors, Funds Transfers.

A total of 1,496 complaints were successfully resolved or closed in the period under review, compared with 4,723 in the first half of 2018, indicating a decrease of 3,227 or 215.71 per cent.

Total claims made by complainants during the period amounted to N7.995 billion and US$1.767 million, while the sums of N3.093 billion and US$1.724 million were refunded to customers, the CBN report stated.

Umar Ibrahim, managing director/CEO, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), said as, at June 2019, the Corporation received a total number of 35 petitions/complaints from banks customers on various issues such as ATM frauds, unauthorised funds transfers, cheque related issues and much more.

Advancement in technology is providing convenient options and changing the way people live. As financial institutions adopt these new methods that make lives better, fraudsters are also keeping up with technology and finding new ways to exploit unsuspecting individuals, businesses and corporations by robbing them of their hard-earned money.

Access Bank plc said it is at the forefront of creating awareness and educating the public on how to protect themselves and their money from fraudsters.

Consequently, the bank has issued a guide to customers aimed at describing the most common methods used by fraudsters and how they can avoid being a victim.

Most common types of fraud

Smishing

This is a text message, often purporting to be from your bank or a regulator asking you for personal or financial information such as your account or card details.

Phishing

The fraudulent practise of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Social Engineering

This is the term used for a broad range of malicious activities accomplished through human interactions. It uses psychological manipulation to trick users into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information.

Identity theft

Identity theft is the deliberate use of someone else’s identity, usually as a method to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in the other person’s name, and perhaps to the other person’s disadvantage or loss.

Most common types of identity theft

Friendly fraud – This refers to a situation in which someone known to the victim perpetuates the fraud. For instance, friends and relatives who have access to your phones.

Stolen phone – Situations in which phones are misplaced/stolen and not reported to the Bank immediately and subsequently, payments are made to merchants via the phone, commonly airtime purchases and bill payments.

Sim swap – SIM take over without customer’s knowledge.

Detecting smishing/phishing

You should regard urgent security alerts and you-must-act-now offers or deals as warning signs of a hacking attempt.

No financial institution or merchant will send you a text message asking you to update your account information or confirm your ATM card PIN. If you get a message that seems to be from your bank or a merchant you do business with, and it asks you to click on something in the message, it’s a fraud. Call your bank or merchant directly if you are in doubt.

Threat to close down your account. No financial institution wants to lose their customers, so nobody is going to close your account unduly.

“Refuse to take the bait—simply don’t respond and delete such emails immediately. Report all smishing attacks to your bank by providing the phone number that sent the text message,” the bank stated.

 

 

 

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