NeFF Cautions against Phishing Sites, Apps


Nume Ekeghe

The Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) has warned against downloading apps that may carry phishing capabilities to unsuspecting mobile banking users as mobile fraud rise in Nigeria.

The NeFF gave the warning over the weekend, at its Annual General Meeting in Lagos, where it stated that hackers were targeting to access unsuspecting customers through mobile apps.

It stated: “Rogue mobile apps are assumed to be one of the fastest-growing phenomena among cybercriminals. Fraudsters create malicious apps that appear genuine, taking advantage of the trust of customers to access their personal information. This can be viewed as a form of phishing on the mobile platform.”

In terms of its forecast for 2019, it stated: “Financial institutions will be the major target of such criminal actions in 2019.”

It revealed that data showed that the value of fraud committed stood at N511,072 million in 2016, dropped to N259,022 million and N202,037 million in 2017 and 2018.

However, fraud via ATM channels rose from N464,514 million in 2016, to N497,643 million in 2017, and then dropped to N497,124 million in 2017.

Likewise, mobile payment fraud rose to N598,811 million in 2018, from N347,645 million in 2017and N235.17 million in 2016.

Further a decline in fraud via Internet banking was recorded, as it fell from N320,665 in 2016, down to N143,144 million in 2017 and further declining to N92,770 million

Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director, Banking and Payment System Management Department CBN, Mr. Sam Okojere, said more efforts were being made to ensure the safety of customers’ funds.

Okojere, who is also the chairman of the forum, said this at the unveiling of the 2018 NeFF Annual report.

He said: “In terms of the future outlook, NeFF intends to introduce some payment valves in the ecosystem which includes embarking on a multi-industry coordinated fraud awareness campaign to extend the concept of an anti-fraud forum to cover the West African sub region, constitute a consumer protection plan and operationalise the Payment System Security Risk Management Center (PSSRMC) which of course will include a dedicated police desk that will focus on payment and card crimes.

“This was further highlighted at the Steering Committee meeting and strong steps are being taken in order to ensure that all these tasks that lie before us are achieved speedily. While we work towards achieving all the afore-mentioned tasks, the security teams of financial service providers must also continually rethink their strategy, from automating their security hygiene measures to replacing isolated security devices with an integrated security architecture that can seamlessly stem the tide of fraud attacks.

“By this, it is my hope that we would achieve major strides in the right direction towards making fraud prevention easier, faster and affordable for everyone.”

He added: “According to the NIBBS Fraud Report for 2018, the mobile channel scored 28.21 per cent on the Fraud Interest Index (Flt). This could be an early warning sign that fraudsters are shifting focus to mobile attacks and testing the waters in different types of mobile and online banking fraud in 2019.

“The 2018 fraud summary released by the NeFF showed that a total of 11,492 fraud cases representing 29.6 per cent of total fraud volume in 2018 had been on mobile devices. Value of fraud on mobile devices rose by 72.2 per cent from N347.64 million in 2017 to N598.8 million in 2018.