These are the common patterns we uncovered:
Insider fraud: By insider, we mean those working with banks or those in a relationship with account holders. Here, the fraud was exclusively executed by members of staff in the banking system who exploited the strategic position they held in the system and their grasp of how it works. Banking institutions and customers were their victims.
Bank fraud is often successful because many Nigerians don’t subscribe to transaction alerts. The eatery management trusted their account officer but did not know that he was dishonest.
Outsider fraud: These perpetrators were external to the banking system. They thrived on their internet skills and sometimes on their understanding of the victims’ routine and identity.
An example is the fraudulent use of bank verification numbers (BVN). These were made compulsory by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2014. All bank account holders had to undertake biometric registration. The intention was to ensure security and check fraud.
But fraudsters have found a way to cheat the system by sending bank customers false emails asking for their bank verification details. As one victim explained to us:
Collaborative fraud: This involved collaboration between bank staff and fraudsters outside the banking system. Banks and individual account holders were the victims. For example, bank staff could provide account details of customers to the collaborating fraudster.