How Scammers fleece Access Bank of N871m in Five Years
GoldenNewsNg gathered that a suspected fraudster recently arrested by the Nigerian Police revealed that Access Bank and First Bank were the easiest banks to hack.
The 46-year-old suspect Zakarriyah Yahaya, paraded by the Police, alongside thirty-eight other suspects, disclosed how his gang emptied the bank accounts of Nigerians using their missing or stolen SIM cards.
“I used to reset any SIM that receives bank alerts. I do reset it with the victim’s bank account number through bank code from the first to the last number.
“Any bank that we get, we first use it to buy a recharge card. From there, they will send us the alert. From the alert, we will now get the account number,” he said.
He also explained that the most vulnerable banks for his eleven-member gang were Access Bank and First Bank, revealing that the highest amount they had stolen from a single bank account was N800,000.
Yahaya’s story confirms the rising cases of online banking fraud and cyberattacks perpetrated by fraudsters in the country. However, corporate organisations in Nigeria rarely disclose to the public when being attacked.
According International Center for Investigative Reporting
The ICIR checked the audited financial records of Access Bank and First Bank to ascertain the losses incurred by both banks from fraudulent activities or cyberattacks over the past four years.
After examining the financial statements, First Bank records did not provide details on its financial losses from fraudulent activities on any of its electronic banking channels, either through USSD codes or ATM cards.
Also, there was no section specifically meant to show losses from electronic transactions by First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc, rather the financial records of all the subsidiaries of First Bank Holdings, which includes FBN, were merged together.
In comparison, Access Bank displayed its annual financial statements which revealed that between 2016 to 2020, the bank lost a total of N871.4 million to fraudulent transfer/withdrawal transactions, which included transactions on its electronic channels.