A phony bank alert fraud can have serious financial and emotional consequences.
Victims may suffer feelings of guilt, rage, and terror in addition to financial loss.
To avoid becoming a victim, it is critical to understand the strategies utilized by fraudsters.
You may protect yourself by learning how to recognize a bogus bank warning and what to do if you feel you’ve been duped.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched the Cashless Nigeria strategy in 2012 in an effort to minimize the circulation of cash and boost the usage of electronic payments.
While the strategy has several advantages, criminals have used its implementation to swindle consumers.
It is critical to understand the hazards and how to avoid becoming a victim of this form of scam.
Today, fraudsters are using the increased popularity of internet banking by sending bogus warnings that look to be from legitimate banks in order to steal money from unwary victims.
What Do Fraudsters Need to Send Fake Bank Alerts?
To send a fake bank alert, scammers need two things:
• your phone number and
• your account numbers.
Using this information, they create an alert that appears to be from your bank using a special SIM card.
Popular Fake Bank SMS Alert Apps
These thieves don’t just make up false bank notifications; they use specific apps to enhance their fraudulent actions.
In Nigeria, some of the most popular apps for sending fake bank alerts include:
• Flash Fund
• Lofty SMS
• Money Prank Pro
• Millionaire Fake Bank Account
• Fake Alert Maker Pro
How to spot fake bank alerts
It is essential to look out for the following red flags like:
• Spelling mistakes: Scam messages may contain spelling and grammatical errors.
• Personal details: Your bank should never ask for your phone number or other sensitive information over SMS.
• Unusual account balance: Check that the balance shown matches the amount you’d expect to see.
• Email source: Confirm that emails appear to be sent from your bank’s official email address.
• App authenticity: Make sure you’re using the official app for your bank.
How to protect yourself from fake debit SMS alerts
Protecting yourself from these scammers require the following steps:
• Never click on links or open attachments in suspicious text messages.
• Do not respond to requests for personal or financial information via SMS.
• Report any suspicious messages to your bank and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
• Check with your bank if you receive an unexpected SMS alert.
Remember, your bank will never request personal information by SMS. If you receive a communication requesting sensitive information, please contact your bank to confirm its validity.