THE Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Nigeria PLC, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe has raised concern how gradual escalation of electronic fraud (e-Fraud) is customers’ trust in the financial system.
She therefore emphasised the need for a swift and decisive approach to address e-fraud within the financial sector.
Delivering her goodwill message at the third quarter (Q3) 2023 general meeting of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum in Lagos, she said: “As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, our reliance on digital transactions have grown exponentially.
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However, with the rise of these digital interactions, the threat of E-fraud has become a significant challenge affecting individuals, businesses, and the industry.”
E-fraud, according to her, has permeated multiple industries, spanning from banking and finance to e-commerce and beyond.
These cybercriminals leverage advanced methods to exploit vulnerabilities, gaining unauthorised access to crucial data and funds.
Onyeali-Ikpe expressed concern that the repercussions of e-fraud are not limited to financial losses; they also extend to eroding trust and brand reputation.
According to data released by NIBSS, the value of electronic payment transactions in Nigeria increased by 298 percent year on year (YoY) from N34.04 trillion in Q1 2022 to N135.52 trillion in Q1 2023.
Electronic fraud are activities carried out online to exploit individuals and business entities for financial gain.
The Fidelity Bank CEO gave examples of Electronic Fraud to include: Phishing; Advanced fee fraud (419); Online Auction Fraud; Identity Theft; Tech Support Scams; Online Romance Scam; Investment Scam; Business Email compromise and Ransomware.
Others are:Online Rental Schemes; Pyramid Schemes; Click Fraud and so on.
She said the banking industry lost a total of N14.3 billion to electronic fraud in 2022, up from the N12.7 billion reported in 2021.
As at Q1 2023, the total fraud loss was N5billion according to the NIBSS Annual Fraud Landscape reports.
Reeling out more data, Onyeali-Ikpe said the Mobile channel is the most exploited channel by fraudsters in 2021 and 2022 with 42,821 and 45,090 reported fraud records respectively.
Total fraud count in 2021 was 123, 918 and 101,668 in 2022.
She listed challenges being as constantly evolving tactics employed by cybercriminals; Complexity in detecting and preventing intricate e-fraud schemes; Escalating customer apprehensions concerning data security and privacy; the need for ongoing technological advancements to outpace fraudsters; High cost of recovery/business continuity when there is a business disruption that is fraud induced.
“These are issues I believe this forum should take a deeper look at and proffer solutions to mitigate them,” she stressed.
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