18 Negligent Habits that swindlers exploit to steal money from Bank Accounts

Not a single day would go by without reports of ATM (automated teller machines) card

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18 Negligent Habits that swindlers exploit to steal money from Bank Accounts


Not a single day would go by without reports of ATM (automated teller machines) card fraud by national dailies. With the speedy increase rate in the number of bank users, rate at which bank’s staffs are getting dismissed without benefits, increase in the number of global electronics scams, high-rate of unemployment among youth, and call for cashless policy, one will begin to imagine if individuals bank’s account details will not be exposed to potential fraud.

Moreover, there are some negligent habits on the side of both banks and customers that fraudsters exploit to steal money from bank’s customer’s account without the victim’s knowledge or access to his/her atm debit card. Followings are the lists:


1. Dictating your bank’s account details to unknown callers:

This is one of many latest techniques used by the electronic fraudster, by putting in a call to the targeted victims, pretending to be their bank official who is trying to verifying some details related to the victim’s bank’s account. Once the victim provided that vital information as requested by the caller, within one to two minutes, the victim will receive a bank’s debit alerts continuously until the account are freeze out.

Moreover, it is believed that most of these fraudsters use voodoo when talking to their targeted victims. Thousands of bank customers have fall victim of these unknown callers act as if they are bank’s official.

Precautionary measures :
Whenever you receive a call from an anonymous caller asking you any question associated to your bank account details, quickly cut off the phone and put a call through to your bank’s manager or call customer care number to let them know your ordeal.

It could be midnight if the unknown caller continues to disturb you with calls, don’t pick the call, or switch off your phone till morning when you will have time to complain at your bank.

2. Calling unknown person for assistance at atm gallery:

These are common act among older people and the uneducated fellow with atm debit card. Swindlers do take advantage of these people by pretending to assist them in operating their atm card, thereby exchange the atm card with an expired one, after knowing the victim’s pin code.

Knowing fully well they could be tracked through CCTV camera or the account might get blocked if the account owner detects on time, the fraudster would quickly go to another bank’s ATM to withdraw the victim’s money.

Precautionary measures:
Whenever you need assistance using your atm cards, call on the security officers assigned to the Atm gallery. But, if you don’t see one, and you need to call an unknown person nearby, do the following:

*Do not hand over your debit card to him or her.

* Do not allow the person to see your pin code while typing.

*Ask the person to direct you only, and not to sort anything for you.

*After you are done using the atm card, at the point of removing the card out of the ATM, do not allow the person who is assisting you to touch your atm card, because that is when many customer’s atm cards got exchanged.

3. Giving out your atm card pin code to different people:

Always be watchful who you are giving out your bank’s account details and atm pin code to. If you are fond of calling out your pin number to different people, you may likely expose yourself to atm card fraud.

Especially, if you like giving out your atm debit card to relatives and friends to withdraw money for you.

How? Your debit card may get lost at any time and could fall into the hands of someone who might have heard or known your atm card’s pin number. What do you think will happen if the person who sees your debit card is not God-fearing.

Precautionary Measures:
Be observant on the kind of people who you give your debit card to, and always change your pin number time to time to avoid being the victim of swindlers.

4. Forgetting to block or report the lost atm debit card:

One of many negligent acts of bank users is to ignore, or not bother to reports their lost atm card to the bank. Unknown to many bank customer that fraudster could steal their money through atm card front sixteen-digit numbers and three-digit CVV number(card verification value) at the back of your atm’s VISA or MASTER Card.

Reporting the lost or stolen atm card on time will save you from being a victim of bank fraud. Many bank customers don’t consider this as something necessary until their money keep disappear from their bank account.

Precautionary Measures:
Always call your bank’s customer care line immediately whenever your atm debit card lost, stolen, or go to your banks nearest branch to report your ordeal.

5. If one’s registered bank alert’s sim card stolen or got lost:

 Many bank customers don’t know that their account could be drained through the sim card connected to their bank account.

Sim card fraudster will transfer money from your bank account to another account, and it will appear to the bank’s system as though you are the one conducting such transaction. Before you know what is happening, all the money in your bank account might be drained.

Precautionary Measures:
Whenever your sim card gets lost or stolen, the first thing to do is to find means to get the sim card block immediately, before these daredevil people wreak havoc on your account.

6. Left your mobile phone or forgetting to lock it while charging:

With this, swindlers will take advantage of your unlock phone or your absence to transfer money from your bank account to another account. Or use the bank’s mobile application on your phone to make an online purchase.

Also, the transaction alerts sent to your phone will be deleted by this crook and the victims will only get to know the havoc when they check their account balance.

Precautionary Measures:
Never for whatever reason live your mobile phone containing your bank details behind while charging or going out unlock. But, if you need charging your phone, locks it or stay with your mobile phone.

7. Allowing an unknown person to stay close to you while conducting a transaction on ATM:

You may not know may be the person wearing an eyeglass behind you at atm gallery is recording everything you are typing on the ATM. In today high-tech world, a recording device could be disguised as a t-shirt button, wristwatch, eyeglasses, or attached to cap.

Precautionary Measures:
Do not allow anybody to stay close to you while you are conducting a transaction on atm. Moreover, if you need assistance in operating the ATM, call on the security officers attached to the bank.

8. Not checking the Http:// and Https://:

If you are fond of conducting internet banking, pay attention to the following: Majority of online shoppers always neglect this when shopping online.

Whenever you click to buy or check out online products and services, make sure to look at the browser address bar, if it starts with {https://}, it means the website owner has made sure no one can steal your information, and you’re safe and not exposed to potential hackers.

But, if the URL starts with (HTTP://}, it means whatever the information you entered, the third party can easily intercept the information or details you enter on this website page.

That is, your data, bank details, and system are not safe from getting hacked.

Precautionary Measures:
Always check out if the URL of the website or blog where you want to make a purchase start with https:// and if not, stay away from buying on that particular site or with HTTP: only.

9. Giving your bvn number to friends or relatives:

Individual bvn (Bank Verification Number) number is an eleven digit number that acts as a personal account owner’s identity in all the commercial banks in Nigeria. This eleven digit number connected to all your accounts in various banks in Nigeria.

If your bvn number intentionally or unintentionally falls into the hand of fraudsters, it means they will have access to all the accounts you have in different banks in Nigeria. Giving out your bvn number to third-party means you hand over all your financial details to them.

Precautionary Measures:
Your bvn number is a key to all your financial information known to you and your bankers. Never give it out any relative or friends, because they may carelessly expose it to potential fraudsters.

10. Storing of Bvn number and pin code on the mobile phone:

Especially for the older people and those who are suffering from memory loss (Alzheimer’s), this might be a bad idea in high crime society.

 Friends, relatives, and others who have access to your mobile phone could have access to that vital information on your mobile phone.

Precautionary Measures:
Do not give your mobile phone to people you don’t trust. Must you charge your mobile phone? Stay close to it and be watchful. Trust no one.

11. Using one's date of birth as atm debit card PIN:

When the fraudster are people closer to you and have access to your atm card, but they could not remember your pin code. However, they remember your date of birth while brainstorm what could be your pin code, and unfortunately, your date of birth is your pin number.

What do you think would happen to your money? Completely avoid using the date of birth as your security pin number, because this is one aspect about you known to thousands of people if not millions.

Precautionary Measures:
Do not use your date of birth or your children’s birth date as security pin code and keep changing your pin code every two months or less. Fraudsters are everywhere, and they are watching you.


12. Improper disposing of printed-out documents containing bank and customer’s vital information.

Different people were coming to the banks for different motives. Some come to the bank as regular customers, while some are there for spying reason.

That is why all documents contained bank and its customer’s information should be properly kept away from others. Especially document that included customer’s bvn number and other essential details. 5 to 7% of people coming to the bank for spying motive do come with recording devices like eyeglasses and so on.

 Moreover, disposing of printed-out documents containing relevant information by bank staffs into the wastebaskets, without first using mini hand paper shredder is likely to exposed bank and its customers to potential financial hackers.

Precautionary Measures :
It should be mandated for all commercial and micro-finance banks to be using mini paper shredders before disposing of any documents.

13. Allowing customers to charge electronic devices within bank premises:

Allowing customers charging their electronic devices within bank premises in today high-tech world is like exposing the bank to financial hackers.

With hacking tools like a “proxmark3 kit and magspoof, allowing outsiders charging electronic devices inside the bank will pose a significant threat to banks and other financial sectors.

Precautionary Measures :
All banks should call on their security personnel to be watchful against customers and pretenders who are always bringing electronic devices to the bank premises for charging. No one can be trusted.

14. Use of unverified maintainers to services bank’s electronic devices:

Giving banks electronics devices maintenances to unverified vendors could exposed banks to possible fraud. With a tool like “keyllama USB value keylogger; fraudsters pretending to be system maintainer can record or download as much as a year’s worth of system typing and no other software can detect either.

Just of recent, there is news of young men who hack new generation bank and stole to the tune of one billion nairas.

Precautionary Measures :
Allowing atm vendors, system vendors, and electronic device maintainers to service bank’s electronic gadgets alone, without proper monitoring is likely to pose a threat to the customer’s information.

Maintainers should be examined properly before giving public trust to maintain.

15. Treacherous Bank staffs:

This is not a new thing in financial sectors whereby staffs will be conniving with outsiders or providing fraudsters with bank customer’s vital information to defraud them.

 At least once in a month, one will read the news on treacherous bank staffs conniving with outsiders for fraud purpose like this one.

Bankers Association should pay more attention to this nemesis. There is a proverb that says “The accomplice is as bad as the thief and without the insider thief, an outside thief cannot operate.

Precautionary Measures :
Both the core and contract staffs of the banks should be vetted thoroughly like background security check and criminal history before they were employed.

Individual staffs should provide details of a different mobile network they are using before and after employment.

Written by: Habib Sesan Babs

Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)

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