By Obinna Chima
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it is working on a policy that will ensure that bank customers involved in electronic fraud are either blacklisted or placed on close surveillance.
The bank’s Director, Banking and Payment System, Mr. ‘Dipo Fatokun, said this at the October edition of the Nigeria e-Fraud Fraud Forum (NeFF) held in Lagos at the weekend.
Fatokun, who is the chairman of NeFF, said the Bank Verification Number (BVN) would also be used in identifying fraudsters in the industry.
“We are currently working on a framework using the BVN to eliminate fraudsters. One common thing about electronic fraud is that when money is moved from an account, it is moved into another bank account. So, identifying the owner of that fraudulent account using the BVN, we would not only be able to identify him or her in the bank in which he has moved the money to, we would also identify him in all the banks where he has accounts and when legal impediments are overcome, such people could be blacklisted or watchlisted in the banking system.
“That would also assist us a great deal in curbing the menace of fraudsters. Opening account is a contract. If a bank notices that a particular customer is fraudulent or is a criminal, the bank has the right to get him order out of the contract. And another implication is that if an account is watchlisted when the framework becomes operational, credit into such account would be withheld. This is because if we are able to watchlist, we will be able to apprehend and prosecute,” he added.
Earlier in an address, Fatokun said the world had been inundated with various news on Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks targeting various internet destinations such as Twitter, PayPal, CNN, The New York Times among others. He said particularly worrisome was the fact that devices used to spread the malware were operated with default passwords which made it easy for the hackers to guess.
“This goes to show that increasingly attacks of this nature are becoming common place and the tactics used, more damaging to individuals and institutions alike. Seeing that this attack came in a month set aside by the United States to focus on National Cybersecurity Awareness, we hope that our own general meeting will not attract similar attention from the fraudsters.
“Social engineering has become rife in cybercrime attacks in Nigeria. Almost on a daily basis, a plethora of messages are sent by these criminals with the express intent to con the unsuspecting recipient using techniques that appeal to vanity, greed or authority. It is therefore important that we look critically at measures that will protect the industry as a whole from the menace of social engineering attacks,” he added.