The Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum has said electronic payment fraud is decreasing in the country as a result of steps taken by it. The Chairman, NeFF, and Director, Banking and Payments System, Central Bank of Nigeria, ‘Dipo Fatokun, said the level of electronic fraud had been increasing globally.

He stated, “Since our last meeting in June, happenings around the world of payment fraud have indicated an increase in identity theft, online fraud and mobile fraud. “These have come to the fore, with sharp increase in the alternative payment uses, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where the rise in mobile payment adoption through the use of USSD for payments as an anchor for financial inclusion, has gained prominence. It is, therefore, no surprise that today in Nigeria and in many other countries around the world, we battle new and emerging cases.”

According to Fatokun, the cases are centred majorly on sophisticated attacks that are designed to make the unsuspecting consumers to divulge sensitive account details and other information that ultimately end in fraud. He stated, “But the good thing is that in Nigeria, the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum has steadily risen to the challenge of battling these vices by working on a cocktail of measures, which we believe can serve as a panacea for the trend that we see today, and the ones that are not yet visible.

“I am happy to tell you that your steering committee has deliberated extensively on how we can battle this problem. Also, the steering committee of the forum has set up a sub-committee that is looking into establishing an e-payment consumer protection plan whereby small value payment can be insured against losses occasioned by fraud.”

He said this would expand financial inclusion and increase the confidence and trust of the populace, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid in the payment system. Fatokun added, “We are also putting finishing touches to a robust awareness campaign leveraging social media, which is targeted at the youth, to start a new conversation aimed at creating a viral and self-sustaining awareness campaign.

“We have realised that the weakest link in the chain of electronic payment fraud is education and awareness. People who were defrauded wouldn’t have fallen victim to fraud if they were aware of the antics of the fraudsters. And that is why we are embarking on this awareness campaign.”



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