Scams and scammers have been a prevalent issue in Nigeria for a long while. Many individuals have fallen victim to “419” as these scams are domestically referred to or one form of scam or another. One such popular scam is the banking scam, which most often involves contact by email, text messages, or even social media.

For instance, the scammer will give an elaborate story about some large amount of money trapped in banks, often in countries currently on the news, or even about a large inheritance that is difficult to access. They will then offer a large sum of money for you to help them transfer the said money to them. They ask for a bank account number, to “help them transfer the money”, thereby using the information obtained to defraud you and steal your funds. They may even ask you to pay fees, charges, or taxes to help transfer the money through your bank. The fees will start quite small and then progress for as long as you are ready to part with the money.

These scams are not just limited to bank fraud but extend to credit card scams, phishing, and skimming. Card skimming is the copying of information from the magnetic stripe of a credit card or automatic teller machine (ATM) card. Scammers skim your card by putting a discreet attachment on the ATM machine. They may even install cameras to capture your card PIN. Once the card is skimmed, the scammer can create copies and make a charge to your account.

Scammers make use of a skimmer device to steal card data for fraudulent transactions. The stolen data are then:

  • Transmitted to another location where the data are copied onto counterfeit cards.
  • They also use the data procured for fraudulent purchases.
  • It can also be used to carry out identity theft.
  • Scammers also use this data to set up accounts and also go as far as take-out loans in your name.

If you suspect or discover any sign of fraudulent activities on your card or account, immediately contact your card issuers and bank officers to shut down the card or cut the card access. This will help limit liability by preventing additional theft.

Ensure to avoid card skimming by 

  • Protecting your bank account and card information.
  • Pay with cash instead of always using a card.
  • Always be cautious and vigilant when carrying out purchases.
  • Regularly view your card and bank statement.

In most cases, scammers already have access to some of your information like name, address, or even account numbers. All they will then do is subtly convince or trick you to obtain your card details like PIN, CCV, and also bank numbers.

It is essential to always be cautious to avoid such scams. Don’t send money or give credit card details to someone you don’t know or trust. When in such similar situations, seek independent advice. Most importantly, remember that there is no get-rich-quick scheme. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.